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Media Group to Ethiopia: Stop Jamming VOA Broadcasts

An international media group is calling on Ethiopia to top jamming VOA broadcasts.

The head of the International Federation of Journalists, Aidan White, on Friday condemned Ethiopia's restrictions on broadcasts by VOA's Amharic language service.

White called the government's jamming "unprofessional" and "intolerant." He also said it goes against government claims that Ethiopia is committed to press freedom.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (file)
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (file)

The Ethiopian government began interfering with VOA's broadcasts in February. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has accused VOA Amharic of trying to destabilize his government.

The United States has rejected Mr. Meles' claim as "baseless."

In March, VOA started broadcasting its Amharic-language programs to Ethiopia by satellite in order to bypass jamming efforts.

The Voice of America is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government. It broadcasts more than 1,500 hours of news and other programming every week in 45 languages to an audience of more than 125 million people.