Threats and censorship against critical journalists Facts: Ethiopia and press freedom
World to criticize the government or report on abuses in Ethiopia is highly dangerous, and the situation is getting worse. Tsedale Lemma is one of the few who openly dares to talk about the stifling of freedom of expression.
- For every leader we write we never know who is going to get angry, says Tsedale Lemma, editor of the English-language magazine Addis Standard.
According to Lemma is the law that controls the media in Ethiopia completely open to interpretation. This leads to extensive journalistic self-censorship.
- And when we do not concern ourselves with self-censorship, we lack access to information or statistics, she says.
She takes police brutality as an example. It is possible to describe in general terms, but it is impossible to review cases of killing protesters.
- That we in the newspaper even take up police brutality see people who courageously. But it also means that they have expectations of us.
The newspaper constantly get emails from people who got into trouble. It's about absurd court cases, mysterious disappearances or persons imprisoned for several years for unclear reasons.
- I want to be their voice. But I do not know what the consequences will be for me or my staff.
The human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently released two reports that indicate risks for journalists, and even human rights activists.
Tsedale Lemma highlights the nine bloggers and journalists detained in April last year and accused of terrorism and the risk of life imprisonment.
In late January the United States in a statement Ethiopia to give the nine legally secure trial.
- How can you expect a fair trial when they are charged with terrorism? When everyone knows that the court is controlled by a call from the government? she asks rhetorically.
She has been threatened and left journalism for several years, but in 2011 she founded Addis Standard. Last year she reacted at a conference where the Deputy Prime Minister said that there are no problems for journalists in Ethiopia.
- I told him that it's his word against the rest of the world. It is a strange coincidence that the journalists who are detained are the ones who are most critical of the government.
Press freedom in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is in place 142 of 180 in Reporters Without Borders' press Index for 2015. In the bottom there Eritrea and North Korea. Sweden is fifth.
According to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) blocks all government websites and blogs which express any criticism of the country's governance.
Ethiopia is the country in the world after Iran who has the most journalists in exile.
Since 2009, the anti-terrorist law used against journalists and political opponents, reports HRW.
The Swedish journalists Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye was sentenced in 2011 to eleven years in prison in Ethiopia for the promotion of terrorism. They were pardoned in 2012.
The page has been translated by Google translate