Seyoum Teshome, an outspoken university lecturer who has been quoted frequently by foreign media outlets about the anti-government protests, was detained on Wedensday at his home in Woliso town in the Oromia region, Associated Press reports.
Ethiopia's government spokesman, Getachew Reda, told The Associated Press news agency on Tuesday that he had heard about Seyoum's arrest and is investigating the reasons why.
Days before his arrest, Seyoum told the AP that he was planning to start his doctoral studies at Addis Ababa University and was starting his own blogging website, Ethiothinkthank. He wrote about Ethiopia's anti-government protests on his blogging site and Facebook page.
"This arrest of a prominent writer and commentator is deeply disturbing as it comes against a backdrop of government moves to stifle protests and criticism," said Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. "Seyoum Teshome should be released without delay and without condition."
Ethiopia is the third worst jailer of journalists in Africa, and a number of journalists are serving jail terms for writing critical pieces about the government, said the journalists' group.
The arrest came a day before dozens of people were killed in the Oromia region.