Ethiopian police arrest Reuters cameraman

The family of a Reuters cameraman arrested in Ethiopia on Thursday 24th December say he will be detained for a further two weeks while police investigate.

Kumerra Gemechu has not been charged, and no reason was provided to the family for the arrest.

Police and government officials did not respond to Reuters' requests for comment about the detention.

38 year old Kumerra has worked for Reuters as a freelance cameraman for a decade.

His arrest follows government pressure on journalists from some local and international news outlets which have been covering the conflict in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region.

Government forces there have been battling the former ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front, or TPLF.

Kumerra covered the Tigray conflict, but Reuters was unable to determine whether his arrest was connected to his work.

In a statement on Monday (Dec 28), Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler strongly condemned the detention.

"Kumerra is part of a Reuters team that reports from Ethiopia in a fair, independent and unbiased way" and his work "demonstrates professionalism and impartiality,” Adler said.

He added that "Journalists must be allowed to report the news in the public interest without fear of harassment or harm."