Sunday, May 20, 2012

CPJ called on Obama to reassess US-Ethiopia relation over Media restrictions


The requests came just before Obama on Friday announced $3 billion in private-sector pledges to help feed Africa’s poor. The U.S. is a major contributor of aid to Ethiopia. The Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia and the Oakland Institute asked Obama in a Thursday letter to “reassess the terms” of U.S. aid to Ethiopia during weekend talks with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Meles is one of four African leaders invited to discuss food security at Camp David. The longtime leader has been accused of restricting freedoms and the media. Some in Ethiopia see him as a dictator. The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a Wednesday letter to the White House it was concerned that Ethiopia had charged 11 independent journalists under sweeping anti-terror laws. “Since 2011, under the guise of a counterterrorism sweep, the government of Ethiopia has brought terrorism and anti-state charges against 11 independent journalists, including blogger Eskinder Nega, who may face life in prison for his writing about the struggle for democracy,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said in the letter. “Such policies deter reporting on all sensitive topics, including food security.”  Read more…

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