News / Africa

Committee to Protect Journalists Demands Release of Ethiopian Reporters

TEXT SIZE - +
Kim Lewis
The press freedom organization, Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, has demanded the release of an Ethiopian journalist who has been detained by Ethiopian authorities for almost three weeks.
                   
The call comes as the CPJ says Muslim journalists have been targeted in recent months by the government for what they believe is part of an attempt to suppress coverage of ongoing protests in the capital, Addis Ababa.
 
The detained journalist, Yusuf Getachew, is editor of a Muslim affairs magazine.  Local journalists say he was taken from his home on July 20 to the Maekelawi Federal Detention Center.  The next day he was charged with treason.  Two other journalists for the Muslim press have since gone into hiding.
 
Tom Rhodes, who is based in Nairobi, is the east Africa consultant for the Committee to Protect Journalists. He talked about some of the conditions journalists are working under now in Ethiopia.
 
“One of the problems is that getting information in Ethiopia is getting harder and harder because a lot of our sources are scared to speak out.  This is really indicative of the conditions of press freedom in Ethiopia today,” said Rhodes.
 
He said it is not clear what the charges are for the arrest of Getachew.
 
“One thing I should throw in there is that Ethiopia has a very good record of religious tolerance.  Muslims and Christians seem to work quite well together, so it is surprising there seems to be this targeting of the Muslim press,” said Rhodes.
 
He said he thinks the police crackdown is largely attributed to the protests that started last January.
 
“Many Muslims felt that the government was interfering too much with the appointments of the Islamic Council and other issues,” said  Rhodes.

Over time, the protests gained momentum, and magazines geared towards the Muslim community were covering the protests, and to some extent, showed support for them.
 
Rhodes said the Ethiopian press in the diaspora, particularly in Washington, DC, has been very vocal and supportive of the Muslim press, whether they are Christians or Muslims speaking out.
 
“However the journalists within the country are quite silent about it,” said Rhodes.
 
He said he has spoken with journalists both inside and outside of the country, and they all have said they have not seen limitations to press freedom this severe within the country.
 
“What we’re facing now is probably worse than what happened in the past election crackdown in 2005,” said Rhodes.
 
The Committee to Protect Journalists has made attempts to reach the Ethiopian government for comment regarding the targeted crackdown on press freedom for the Muslim community; however, up to this point, the government has not responded.
 
“I should hasten to point out that CPJ had quite a fruitful meeting about a month and a half ago when we visited Addis.  It is not as if we’re cut off from communication,” said Rhodes.

Listen to interview with Tom Rhodes of the Committee to Protect Journalists
Listen to interview with Tom Rhodes of the Committee to Protect Journalistsi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

'Exceptionally Lucky' US Boy Survives Flight in Wheel Well

The boy was unconscious for most of the flight, and appeared to be unharmed after enduring the extremely cold temperatures and lack of oxygen More

US Anti-Corruption Law Snags Major Tech Company

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in December, 1977 More

Cameron Criticized for Calling UK 'Christian Country'

Letter from scientists, academics and writers says the prime minister is fostering division by repeatedly referring to England as a 'Christian country' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: solomon Dagnachew from: Nairobi
August 16, 2012 2:55 PM
The Architect Revolutionary Democracy in Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, has taken Human Rights as a hurdle of Implementation the revolutionary democracy in the country. The Architect and his stooges has been bent on destroying any person who cross the road to Revolutionary Democracy. Fortunately the Architect is gone with no sign of return and things might not be the same again as it was under the architect's watch if the international community intervened for the good of the people of Ethiopia.At present scored number of prominent opposition political party leaders, journalist and political and human rights activist have been languishing in prison on tiny pretext of Terrorism. Hundreds of thousands of civilian have been incarcerated in prison without any legal proceedings or what so ever. The rule of Law has no room in Revolutionary Democracy ruling elites.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid