Ethiopian security officials have barred more than 10 people from boarding a flight to the northern region of Tigray, telling them that elections to take place there later this week are illegal.
The passengers, who included four journalists, said the action appeared intended to prevent coverage of the election.
Those barred said they had their phones and laptops confiscated.
Tigrayan officials are pressing ahead with regional elections, defying the federal government’s decision to indefinitely postpone a national poll due to political unrest and coronavirus.
Ethiopia’s upper house has called the regional election unconstitutional, increasing the tension between the central government and the authorities in the northern region run by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.