File picture: Pixabay

Nairobi - Ethiopian authorities should immediately release Seyoum Teshome, who publishes the Ethiothinktank blog, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said on Saturday.

On Thursday, security forces arrested Seyoum at his home near the Woliso campus of Ambo University where he lectures, according to witnesses who spoke to Voice of America and Deutsche Welle, the CPJ said in a statement.

The reason for his arrest and his whereabouts were not known, according to reports and a statement by the Swiss-based Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia.

Seyoum had been critical in his blog of a six-month state of emergency Ethiopia declared in February. Under the state of emergency, authorities could carry out arrests and searches without warrants and close down media, according to a report by the state-owned Ethiopian News Agency.

"Ethiopia cannot again use the cloak of a national emergency to round up journalists and stifle critical voices," said CPJ deputy executive director Robert Mahoney. "This is the second time that authorities ignored due process to detain Seyoum Teshome. He should be released immediately and unconditionally."

Seyoum was arrested in October 2016, days before a previous state of emergency was declared, according to CPJ research.

African News Agency/ANA