News / Africa

Committee to Protect Journalists Demands Release of Ethiopian Reporters

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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid