posts about or somewhat related to ‘ethiopia’

Jailed But Not Forgotten
Reeyot Alemu, an Ethiopian journalist currently serving a five-year prison term for her work reporting on banned opposition groups, just won the 2013 UNESCO-Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

Alemu was originally arrested with others for “lending support to an underground network of banned opposition groups, which has been criminalized under the country’s 2009 antiterrorism law.” Among the evidence used against her and her colleagues were some 25 articles they’d published in the Ethiopian Review.
In January 2012, Elias Kifle, the publication’s Washington, DC-based editor, was given a life sentence in absentia.

In a letter to Ethiopia’s Minister of Justice earlier this month, the Committee to Protect Jouranlists’ Joel Simon wrote:

Prison authorities have threatened Reeyot with solitary confinement for two months as punishment for alleged bad behavior toward them and threatening to publicize human rights violations by prison guards, according to sources close to the journalist who spoke to the International Women’s Media Foundation on condition of anonymity. CPJ has independently verified the information. Reeyot has also been denied access to adequate medical treatment after she was diagnosed with a tumor in her breast, the sources said…
…All of the charges against Reeyot were based on her journalistic activities—emails she had received from pro-opposition discussion groups and reports and photographs she had sent to opposition news sites. Reeyot, who received the International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award in 2012, has covered key developmental issues in Ethiopia such as poverty, democratic opposition, and gender equality.

In 2011, The CJP reported that 79 Ethiopian journalists were in exile. The ruling party, which controls 546 of the 547 seats in parliament has passed laws over the last five years restricting independent media, political opposition groups and civil society organizations.
Image: Reeyot Alemu, via the IWMF.

Jailed But Not Forgotten

Reeyot Alemu, an Ethiopian journalist currently serving a five-year prison term for her work reporting on banned opposition groups, just won the 2013 UNESCO-Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

Alemu was originally arrested with others for “lending support to an underground network of banned opposition groups, which has been criminalized under the country’s 2009 antiterrorism law.” Among the evidence used against her and her colleagues were some 25 articles they’d published in the Ethiopian Review.

In January 2012, Elias Kifle, the publication’s Washington, DC-based editor, was given a life sentence in absentia.

In a letter to Ethiopia’s Minister of Justice earlier this month, the Committee to Protect Jouranlists’ Joel Simon wrote:

Prison authorities have threatened Reeyot with solitary confinement for two months as punishment for alleged bad behavior toward them and threatening to publicize human rights violations by prison guards, according to sources close to the journalist who spoke to the International Women’s Media Foundation on condition of anonymity. CPJ has independently verified the information. Reeyot has also been denied access to adequate medical treatment after she was diagnosed with a tumor in her breast, the sources said…

…All of the charges against Reeyot were based on her journalistic activities—emails she had received from pro-opposition discussion groups and reports and photographs she had sent to opposition news sites. Reeyot, who received the International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award in 2012, has covered key developmental issues in Ethiopia such as poverty, democratic opposition, and gender equality.

In 2011, The CJP reported that 79 Ethiopian journalists were in exile. The ruling party, which controls 546 of the 547 seats in parliament has passed laws over the last five years restricting independent media, political opposition groups and civil society organizations.

Image: Reeyot Alemu, via the IWMF.

Ethiopia Sentences Swedish Reporters to 11 Years 
Via the Boston Globe:

A court in Ethiopia on Tuesday sentenced two Swedish journalists to 11 years in prison on charges of supporting terrorism after the two illegally entered the country with an ethnic Somali rebel group in a case that has been criticized by media rights groups.
Judge Shemsu Sirgaga ruled that the two freelance journalists — Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye — will serve “rigorous imprisonment” following their convictions last week.
Ethiopian troops had captured Persson and Schibbye six months ago during a clash with rebels in eastern Ethiopia’s restive Somali region, a no-go area for reporters. Ethiopia considers the rebel group a terrorist organization, and it is very difficult for journalists to gain access to the region. Rights groups say that is so abuses there are not exposed.


Persson and Schibbye say they were reporting on a Swedish company that is exploring Ethiopia’s Somali region for oil.
Image: Video still of Persson and Schibbye soon after they were first arrested, via iWatch News.

Ethiopia Sentences Swedish Reporters to 11 Years 

Via the Boston Globe:

A court in Ethiopia on Tuesday sentenced two Swedish journalists to 11 years in prison on charges of supporting terrorism after the two illegally entered the country with an ethnic Somali rebel group in a case that has been criticized by media rights groups.

Judge Shemsu Sirgaga ruled that the two freelance journalists — Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye — will serve “rigorous imprisonment” following their convictions last week.

Ethiopian troops had captured Persson and Schibbye six months ago during a clash with rebels in eastern Ethiopia’s restive Somali region, a no-go area for reporters. Ethiopia considers the rebel group a terrorist organization, and it is very difficult for journalists to gain access to the region. Rights groups say that is so abuses there are not exposed.

Persson and Schibbye say they were reporting on a Swedish company that is exploring Ethiopia’s Somali region for oil.

Image: Video still of Persson and Schibbye soon after they were first arrested, via iWatch News.

Ethiopian Journalist Outed by Wikileaks, Flees Country →

In 2009, Ethiopian journalist Argaw Ashine began researching the government’s alleged attempts to silence Addis Neger, the nation’s leading independent newspaper.

A US Diplomatic Cable written at the time, and recently released by WikiLeaks, discusses Ashine’s reporting and notes an anonymous source within the Government Communication Affairs Office who told Ashine that the agency planned to target Addis Neger’s top journalists in order “silence the newspaper’s analysis.”

The problem: Wikileaks didn’t redact Ashine’s name and the Ethiopian government’s been harassing him in an effort to get him to give up the source’s name. After repeatedly being brought before authorities, Ashine fled the country when told by police he faced “unspecified consequences” if he did not cooperate.

"It was a bit scary,"  Ashine told the BBC, ”[and] not a wise idea to stay in such a scenario.”

Via the Committee to Protect Journalists:

"The threat we sought to avert through redactions of initial WikiLeaks cables has now become real. A citation in one of these cables can easily provide repressive governments with the perfect opportunity to persecute or punish journalists and activists," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "WikiLeaks must take responsibility for its actions and do whatever it can to reduce the risk to journalists named in its cables. It must put in place systems to ensure that such disclosures do not reoccur."…

…Ashine is the chairman of the Ethiopian Environment Journalists Association, the deputy chair of Ethiopia’s Foreign Correspondents’ Association, and the local correspondent of Kenya’s Nation Media Group, according to CPJ research.

Addis Neger stopped publishing in November 2009 and the paper’s editors fled the country for fear that they would be charged under Ethiopia’s broad anti-terrorism laws.

Too poor to buy a newspaper? Why not rent one from a newspaper landlord.

While it’s a business model that may not fly in the U.S., roadside entrepreneurs in Ethiopia do a brisk trade as renting out copies of the newspaper to job seekers, apartment hunters and others who cannot afford to buy a copy.

Publishers don’t like it, because they sell fewer copies each day, but admit it’s good for the reading habit. And at the end of the day, stores buy the tattered, used sheaths as packaging material. 

(Source: CNN)

mediaengage:

Don’t think this is the way to save the newspaper industry, but it’s a great way to increase the spread of information.

jwschiff:

CNN reports on Ethiopia’s newspaper rental industry.

From the piece:

Garum Tesfaye is one of Addis Ababa’s “newspaper landlords,” a group of entrepreneurs in the Ethiopian capital who rent out papers to people too poor to buy them.

Tesfaye says that 30 to 40 people will read a single paper. At the end of the day, the well-thumbed publications can be sold on.

“After a newspaper passes its deadline we will sell it to shops who can use it as packaging for items that they sell,” says Tesfaye, who says he uses the earnings from his business to support his three siblings.

We asked the other day, what good the newspaper? This is a much better answer.