Thousands March for Freedom, Justice in Rare Ethiopia Protest

Demonstrators demanded the release of jailed journalists.

Posted: 06/03/2013 03:32 PM EDT

About 10,000 Ethiopian demonstrators marched on Addis Ababa to call for the release of jailed journalists and activists. Unemployment and inflation were also addressed during the protest.

"We have repeatedly asked the government to release political leaders, journalists and those who asked the government not to intervene in religious affairs," said Yilekal Getachew, chairman of the Semayawi (Blue) Party which organized the protests.

This protest marked the country’s first large-scale protest since 2005, when election disputes led to 200 deaths. With 49 journalists in exile as of 2012, Ethiopia is one of the top three countries from which journalists have fled, according to Committee to Protect Journalists. Human rights groups have accused the Ethiopian government of persecuting dissenting journalists and activists under a 2009 anti-terrorism law.

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(Photo: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

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