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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid