Detainees’ Profile

Who are the Zone 9 Bloggers?

Befekadu Hailu, Atnaf Berahane, Natnael Feleke, Mahlet Fantahun, Zelalem Kibret and Abel Wabela are members of the group “Zone9”, an independent blog that identifies itself as “an informal group of young Ethiopian bloggers working together to create an alternative independent narration of the socio-political conditions in Ethiopia.” Zone9 is a popular social media platform that has emerged as one of the leading spaces for campaigns on constitutional rights.

Edom Kassaye and Tesfalem Waldyes are both freelance journalists. Asmamaw Hailegeorgis is a journalist working with the Addis Guday newspaper.

Hailu, Kibret, Wabela, and Kassaye are all Amharic translators with the Global Voices network, working to make content from around the world accessible for readers in Ethiopia.

profile8Befeqadu Hailu 
Age: 32

Profession: ICT specialist, blogger and writer, 2012 Burt Award winner for African Literature Co-founder of Zone9, Global Voices Author and Translator. Befeqadu also run his own blog. He has worked as journalist for various publications since 2009. He is a graduate of Information Technology.  He is the most diligent contributor of zone9 since its establishment.

profile7Abel Wabela
Age: 28

Profession: Graduate of Mechanical Engineering and an employee of Ethiopian Airlines. He is a co- founder of Zone9, Author and Translator for Global Voices. Abel has been blogging since 2009 on his own blog.

profile3Atnaf Berahane
Age: 26

Profession: ICT specialist and human right activist. Co-founder of Zone9 and contributor. He is known for his use of Twitter handle for hyper local updates. He is an employee of Addis Ababa city administration at Bole sub-city. Atnaf also runs his own blog.

profile4Natnael Feleke
Age: 27

Profession: An economist by training and a human right activist by interest. Natnael is an Internet enthusiast with positive mentality and enduring character. He is an employee of Construction and Business Bank in Addis Ababa. He is a co-founder and contributor of Zone9. He also runs his own blog. Natty is peculiarly known for his highly civil engagement with his Facebook and Twitter followers on various issues. He is an active member of the Ethiopian Economic Association.

profile1Mahlet Fantahun
Age: 29

Profession: A graduate of Applied Mathematics working as a database administrator in Ministry of Health in Addis Ababa. Co-founder and contributor of Zone9. Mahlet is well known for her moving Facebook page notes.

profile2Zelalem Kibret
Age: 29

Profession: A lawyer by training and a lecturer at Ambo University. He has just defended his master’s thesis at Addis Ababa University. Co-founder and contributor of Zone9. Zelalem runs a blog which is described as reliable source of educational contents by many. He raises critical social issues with his Twitter handle and engages his followers with conversation.

profile9Edom Kassaye
Age: 29

A practicing journalist and a graduate of journalism. Edom served as a reporter for various media organizations since 2008. She worked for a government English daily “The Ethiopian Herald” Briefly,Edom was an employee of Radio Fana as a radio journalist.  She is an associate of Zone9 and a translator of Global Voices Amharic. She has a Twitter handle for public engagement.

profile6Tesfalem Weldeyes
Age: 31

A young yet seasoned journalist who has worked for most of major Ethiopian publications for the last ten years. He was a news editor for the now defunct Amharic weekly Addis Neger, a regular contributor for an English newspaper, Addis Fortune and for the English magazine Addis Standard. He has an educational background of journalism.

profile5Asemamaw Hailegiorgis
Age: 31

Asmamaw’s educational background is in Information Technology and he has been a practicing journalist for the last ten years with different Ethiopian media organizations. He worked for Addis Guday for seven years where his last position was a managing editor. He used to have his own radio program about ICT on Addis Ababa city FM radio station.

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