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Top Developments• Terrorism law criminalizes coverage of sensitive topics.• Broadcasting Authority serves as government censor. Key Statistic 4: Journalists jailed as of December 1, 2009. Ahead of national elections scheduled for May 2010, the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) further curtailed the limited freedom of the country’s small number of independent newspapers. The government enacted…
New York, August 26, 2009–Two Ethiopian journalists were thrown in prison on Monday after a judge convicted them under an obsolete press law in connection with coverage of sensitive topics dating back several years, according to local journalists and news reports.
Dear Prime Minister: We are writing to express our serious concerns about legislation that would further restrict press freedom in Ethiopia and about an ongoing pattern of criminal prosecutions, administrative restrictions, and Internet censorship. We are concerned that these measures, which official rhetoric has publicly justified as policies to safeguard the “constitutional order,” actually criminalize independent political coverage and infringe on press freedom as guaranteed by the Ethiopian Constitution. We call on you to use your influence to reverse this trend.