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Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi speaks to Parliament Thursday. (CPJ)

Ethiopia steps up terrorism allegations against journalists

New York, October 24, 2011–Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi last week accused journalists in the country of being “messengers” with “terrorist” groups, while a state newspaper accused the chief editor of an independent publication of having terrorist ties and called on security forces to “take action” against him. The Committee to Protect Journalists today said…

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Two Ethiopian journalists detained on terrorism charges

New York, September 16, 2011–Authorities in Ethiopia arrested two independent journalists this week on accusations of involvement in a terrorism plot, bringing the total number of journalists imprisoned since June under the country’s far-reaching antiterrorism legislation to six, CPJ research shows.

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Pro-government journalists and officials who replaced independent journalists sit on a WPFD panel in Addis Ababa on Tuesday. (Awramba Times)

Ethiopia censors UNESCO World Press Freedom Day event

New York, May 5, 2011–Officials in Ethiopia hijacked a local UNESCO-sponsored World Press Freedom Day event, installing government-backed journalists as speakers and nixing independent journalists slated to speak. There was no discussion, as originally planned, of this year’s global theme on new media and the Internet at the Tuesday forum, according to local sources and…

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A man sets up a satellite dish in Zimbabwe, where state news is severely restricted on the ongoing protests in the Middle East, but where CNN is still accessible. (AP)

Sub-Saharan Africa censors Mideast protests

As news of Middle Eastern and North African protests swirl around the globe, satellite television and the Internet prove vital sources of information for Africans as governments fearful of an informed citizenry and a free press such as in Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, and Zimbabwe impose total news blackouts on the developments.

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Attacks on the Press in 2008: Ethiopia

The small vanguard of independent media that emerged from a brutal 2005 crackdown struggled in the face of continuing government harassment. Although authorities issued licenses allowing a handful of independent political newspapers to operate, they continued to use imprisonment, threats, and legal and administrative restrictions to suppress coverage of sensitive issues.

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Ethiopian press bill flawed, needs revision

Dear Mr. President, The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned that the pending Mass Media and Freedom of Information Proclamation, passed by the Ethiopian House of Peoples’ Representatives on July 1, does not fully incorporate public input, including that of local journalists and legal experts. The bill is flawed as a result, and we urge you to reject it and send it back to lawmakers for revision.

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Ethiopia lifts restraints on licenses to 2 freed journalists

New York, February 6, 2007—The Ethiopian government today reversed its decision last month to deny two journalists released from prison last year on pardon from launching new newspapers, according to local journalists. Three other journalists who were acquitted and set free last year remained blocked from launching their own publications.

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Ethopia urged to grant publishing licenses

Dear Prime Minister, We are writing to express our great concern about the government’s denial of publishing licenses to five independent Ethiopian journalists freed last year from prison. We are calling on you to use all your influence to remove such administrative restraints, which contradict the government’s public assurances last year that former prisoners would be allowed to resume their work.

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Ethiopia blocks freed journalists from launching newspapers

New York, January 2, 2008— Three Ethiopian journalists told CPJ the government denied them applications to launch new newspapers on Tuesday. All the journalists spent 17 months in prison following the country’s 2005 elections. The newspapers were slated to become the country’s first independent political publications since authorities banned eight local papers and forced at…

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CPJ asks Rice to discuss Ethiopian press freedom

Dear Secretary Rice, In advance of your meeting with Ethiopian officials in Addis Ababa, the Committee to Protect Journalists would like to draw your attention to our concerns regarding press freedom conditions there. You may know that 15 Ethiopian journalists were recently released from prison, but this development belies the country’s sustained record of contempt for independent media, which manifests itself in a variety of legal and administrative restraints. The 15 jailed journalists were sentenced on trumped-up charges such as genocide in connection with the media’s coverage of Ethopia’s 2005 post-election unrest.

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