[ View the story "Ethiopia's media war" on Storify] Ethiopia's media war Ethiopian anti-terrorism laws are forcing journalists into exile and prison, a push the government says will secure the nation.
The Stream· Tue, Feb 17 2015 18:39:11
For almost a year, nine Ethiopian
journalists and bloggers
have sat in an Addis Ababa prison facing terrorism charges. The government says the "Zone 9" collective is aligned with a banned opposition group. But across the country and the diaspora, the case has sparked a press freedom movement that advocates hope will highlight concerns about Ethiopia's alleged
on journalists and opposition voices.
142 out of 180 countries on Reporters Without Borders' 2015 Press Freedom Index. The challenging press landscape has compelled at least 60 journalists to flee the country since 2010, according to
Human Rights Watch.
Media Decimated in Ethiopiahumanrightswatch
Ethiopian government officials defend their stance on restricting media. They accuse the Zone 9 bloggers and other dissenting voices of having
to a "terrorist network" centered around nearby Eritrea that extends to Somalia, Kenya and South Sudan. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has
anyone found to be associated with such networks would be "eligible for the course of law", regardless of profession.
“When you put yourself into this network and you try to become a blogger, don’t think that you are going to escape from the Ethiopian government,” he added.news.yahoo.com
Responding to a Washington Post editorial that
Ethiopia's stringent press policies, Tesfaye Wolde, a counselor for public diplomacy and communication for Ethiopia’s U.S. Embassy,
the nation's security concerns prompt the government to protect the "constitutional order from any subversion".
It is not appropriate to refer to individual cases, but the implication that journalists should be above the law is unacceptable. To suggest that journalists have been targeted under the guise of “terrorism” ignores the fact that Ethiopia is faced with significant and dangerous terrorist threats, including the activities of organizations linked to al-Qaeda in Somalia and Yemen and terrorist operations in Eritrea. Ethiopia takes seriously its responsibility of bringing perpetrators of grave offenses to justice, irrespective of their profession.washingtonpost.com
The Stream asked its community how the government of Ethiopia (GOE) can protect press freedom while maintaining national security.
@AJStream in security/freedom tade-offs GOE favors security because the later can't be used as a tool to stay in power for yearsPetros Endale
@ajstream I don't think security is reason to curtailing free speech, the govt is using the anti-terrorism law to silence independent mediaYonas meshesha
@AJStream #Ethiopia is not fighting terrorism, the minority regime is fighting the majority of the people and thus also the bloggers.Eritrea Hadelibi ☝♥
Does Western-style press freedom fit Ethiopia's style of democracy?
@AJStream everywhere there's restriction whether in west or east, south or north. And it's up to journos to act accordingly & responsibly.Alemayehu Nana
@AJStream I think it's a problem for most african countries,it gets abused and misused by lack of objective and neutral reporting#EthiopiaJesse Jones Obande
@AJStream Such dichotomy doesn't exist. Either one is demo or not. Democracy is inherent right of all to have a say in how one is governed!kinetibeb