Our Team

Ameha Mekonnen
Exec Team Chair

Amaha has extensive experience in the justice sector working as senior prosecutor and head of
the branch office of the Ministry of Justice at Addis Ababa with a rank of Assistant Deputy Attorney General. He has lead the branch office of the Ministry of Justice at Addis Ababa. He has been teaching criminal law and human rights in two major private universities, Unity and St. Marry. Much known for his role as a practicing human right lawyer defending journalists, bloggers, opposition members and leaders criminally charged under the most repressive anti-terrorism. He has ran human right projects under his law office, Ameha Mekonnen & Associates law Office with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy. Currently chairing the board of Ethiopian Human Rights Council, pioneer independent human right organization.

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Atnafu Brhane
Exec Team Vice Chair

Atnafu Brhane, vice-chair of NDRE, is a human rights defender based in Ethiopia. In 2012, he co-found award-winning blogging collective, Zone9 Bloggers, with his friends and conducted extensive social media campaigns on rule of law and constitutionalism. In 2016, he with his colleagues accepted awards from Reporter Without Border's Netzen award, Human Rights Watch Hellman-Hammett award, Marttin Ennals award and Committee to Protect journalists Press Freedom Award.In 2014, he was arrested and charged with draconian Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism proclamation and spent 18 months in prison. In his charge, he was also accused for giving digital security training to activists and journalists.

From 2018 - 19, Atnafu was Digital Integrity Fellow at Open Technology Fund, OTF and worked with human rights defenders and human rights organization in Ethiopia regarding creating awareness in digital literacy, privacy and security. He is a program director and leading the digital rights section at Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy, CARD formerly known as Ethiopia Human Rights Project, EHRP, which he cofound.

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Dawit Bekele
PISE WG Vice Chair

Dawit Bekele is Director of the African Regional Bureau of the Internet Society where he has been working since 2006. Prior to joining the Internet Society, Dawit worked at Addis Ababa University as assistant professor in Computer Science and as a consultant for major international organizations such as UNECA, UNESCO and World Bank. He was also co-founder and managing director of EthioLink, an Internet company that pioneered e-commerce in Ethiopia. Dawit has also been involved in many civil society organizations; in particular, he served as president of the Ethiopian IT Professional from 2005 to 2006, as coordinator of the Ethiopian Free and Open Source Software Network from 2004 to 2005 and co-founder and served president of the Ethiopian Computer Standards Association from 1997 to 1999.
Dawit obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Paul Sabatier in France, in 1994, and more recently in 2014, a Masters degree in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa.

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Yohannes Eneyew
PISE WG Chair

Yohannes Ayalew is a media law lecturer at School of Law Samara University, Ethiopia where
he has also served as Head of the Law School. He holds Master of Laws(LL.M) in International
Human Rights Law at Faculty of Law, University of Groningen in 2018, another LL.M in Public
International Law (Addis Ababa University, 2017) and LLB (Wollo University, 2014) with
distinctions. Recently, he holds a visiting assistant professor position at school of law, Bahir Dar
University, Ethiopia where he taught LLM students. His teaching, research and publication
focuses on, freedom of expression, internet shutdowns, media clampdowns, health and human
rights. He has been studying and published extensively on freedom of expression on the internet
in Ethiopia, and a human rights advocate being a standing blogger at AbyssiniaLaw.com.

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Henok Semaegzer Fente
Member

Henok is an Ethiopian-American journalist and media educator.
For the past 15 years, he’s worked as an international reporter, media developer and creator and manager of youth broadcasts for VOA and BBC. He is the founder and executive director of MERSA Media Institute—a non-pro t think tank that works to create vibrant, responsible and independent media and education centers through research, capacity building and institutional support in Africa.


As a media educator, Henok has extensive experience in designing media training projects funded by U.S. government agencies in partnership with the Broadcasting Board of Governors and others. In Nigeria he designed and implemented a training on business and entrepreneurial journalism for young reporters in Kano, where the terror group Boko Haram was active and destructive. In Ethiopia and Kenya, he conducted humanitarian reporting workshops.
Henok served as an executive fellow at U.S. House of Representatives providing policy briefs and assistance in the drafting of legislation on Africa. He is also a member of the Media Law Working Group, a group tasked to review and draft media legislations in Ethiopia under the supervision of the Law and Justice Affairs Advisory Council of the Attorney General Office.
He worked as a reporter and host of news magazine shows in multiple languages for an African audience in Ethiopia and Washington, D.C. Henok is a graduate of the Columbia Journalism School.

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