News / Africa

Press Advocates: Obama Should Talk Freedom at G8

Demonstrators outside White House before G8 summit in Washington, May 17, 2012Demonstrators outside White House before G8 summit in Washington, May 17, 2012
x
Demonstrators outside White House before G8 summit in Washington, May 17, 2012
Demonstrators outside White House before G8 summit in Washington, May 17, 2012
Ricci Shryock
Press freedom advocates are calling for President Barack Obama to address limitations on journalists who report on food insecurity when he meets with four African leaders at the G8 Summit on Saturday.

The group is set to discuss solutions to food crises on the continent. But Mohamed Keita, the Africa Advocacy Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said government censorship is part of the problem. 

“We believe that such practices harm the domestic and international response to such crises and ultimately undermine the ability of everyone to assist millions starving,” Keita said.

Mr. Obama will hold a working lunch with the presidents of Ghana, Tanzania, and Benin, as well as the prime minister of Ethiopia, during the summit at the Camp David presidential retreat in the U.S.

Keita said Tanzania, Ghana and Benin “are countries where the press is relatively free to operate. They are not working under intense censorship. They are not denied access to sensitive areas.”

But he said the situation in Ethiopia is different. He said the government there has been guilty of hindering reporting on past and present food crises. 

“Ethiopia is continually affected by drought and food crises and unfortunately the government prevents journalists access to sensitive areas,” Keita said. “They are prevented from using the word famine when they report about these crises. They are
Okule Buli helps her five-year old daughter Jamila sit up in her bed in the Intensive Care Unit of a medical center run by Medecins Sans Frontiers in Kuyera, Ethiopia, 02 Sep 2008 (File photo AFP)Okule Buli helps her five-year old daughter Jamila sit up in her bed in the Intensive Care Unit of a medical center run by Medecins Sans Frontiers in Kuyera, Ethiopia, 02 Sep 2008 (File photo AFP)
x
Okule Buli helps her five-year old daughter Jamila sit up in her bed in the Intensive Care Unit of a medical center run by Medecins Sans Frontiers in Kuyera, Ethiopia, 02 Sep 2008 (File photo AFP)
Okule Buli helps her five-year old daughter Jamila sit up in her bed in the Intensive Care Unit of a medical center run by Medecins Sans Frontiers in Kuyera, Ethiopia, 02 Sep 2008 (File photo AFP)
prevented from taking photographs of obviously malnourished children.”

“This has an impact on the ability of aid groups to scramble to raise funds to assist” in a timely manner, he added.

Keita acknowledged Ethiopia has made economic strides in reducing poverty and improving infrastructure, but he said hunger remains a chronic problem. And he said government statistics about food insecurity and hunger cannot be relied upon.

Since 2011, the Ethiopian government has used its sweeping anti-terrorism laws to bring charges against 11 journalists.

Committee to Protect Journalists' Mohamed Keita talks to Ricci Shryock about Press Freedom
Committee to Protect Journalists' Mohamed Keita talks to Ricci Shryock about Press Freedomi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Alem from: USA
May 18, 2012 11:48 AM
Just in case Mr. Obama runs out of issues to raise [informally] with Ethiopia's dictator Meles at Camp David, here are few to consider. Mr. President,
1. Do not let your knowledge of what you know about Kenya be the yardstick for dealing with Meles. Meles is strange even by Ethiopian standards. Africans are as different from each other as your mom and dad are.
2. Inquire the whereabouts of the $12 billion Meles, his wife and relatives illicitly transferred to foreign banks [refer him to the UN Financial Accountability Report 2011]. And also the unaccounted for hundreds of millions collected in the early 1980s in the name of famine-stricken populations.
3. Meles’ mixing up journalists and terrorists. Why is Eskinder and others in jail?
4. Isn’t 25 years long enough to make Ethiopia food-secure, to establish press freedom and increase Internet access [instead of using it to spy on citizens] and to make space for Ethiopians who are barred from participating in their own nation’s development?
5. What was the resolution for the murder on the streets of Addis of 197 unarmed protestors in 2005; the murder of 435 in Gambela, and the thousands of Ethiopian women suffering abuses in the Middle East. Meles has promised to set up a Commission of Inquiry.
Read complete post at this link
http://etrecycler.blogspot.com/2012/05/g-8.html

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs