In an information being released in a mood of concern early June, by CPJ and voiced by Ethiopian media both online and offline it is reported that two journalists, Wubeshet Taye and Réyot Alemu, are currently in detention in Ethiopia and most probably if the accounts on the issue are to be trusted the later will be litigated on the basis of the country’s anti-terrorism laws.
As I have tried to understand the case from various reports a common thread in both cases of journalists’ incarceration is that the Ethiopian authorities have declined to admit any detention of journalists. Worse even, many people do not have a clue weather the cause of the journalists’ detention is related with their job or not. But given that the detainee journalists are members of the critical private press and in the past so many journalists from the private press have been either jailed or exiled, and that every one of them have been critical of the government, I have to be honest that I have found it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Wubeshet Taye and Réyot Alemu are being targeted because of their work.
Most probably a new atmosphere of fear will escalate with these arrests and that is what worries me. Here is why. It is going to be tougher to reflect one’s opinion on the country’s state of affairs with such kind of unendurable condition anywhere in the world, but particularly in a country like Ethiopia that seeks to work out hard to fit journalists’ opinions into country’s 2009 anti-terrorism laws. Though Ethiopia recognizes freedom of expression as a fundamental right in its constitution its continuous behavior on its own critical journalists calls into question not only its desire but also its ability to commit to the values of its own constitution.
If a certain Ethiopian journalist linked to any of the recently claimed “terror” groups by the Ethiopian parliament have regularly been targeted under Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism laws. It is still fresh to my memory how Ethiopian Television, government’s major mouthpiece in its documentary, has tried to demonize members of the Ethiopia’s private press and instigated government for the harshest punishments of journalists.
The relative lack of audacious alternative private press in the last three years in Ethiopia media landscape is slowly has been changed with the emergence of weeklies such as Awramba Times, Feteh and others. I strongly believe these newspapers are trying their best to be the alternative media and plaster the vacuum left by Addis Neger newspaper owing to the exile .But the recent waves of arrests will pose a great threat to re-budding of private newspapers. Far from being slanderous dissidents, journalists and bloggers as well who investigate and criticize Ethiopia’s government actions exhibit true devotion to the cause of democracy, because no democracy can endure without the open and autonomous assessment of public policies that bloggers and journalists provide. If Ethiopian government truly wishes to be considered as emerging democracy in Africa, its leaders must not hold freedom of the press in contempt. I rest my point.

4 Responses to “Journalists detention a point of concern for Ethiopian bloggers as well???”

  1. gunniessstout

    that is a wonderful write up. i truly appreciate your effort on making the world to know it happens. regards Michael

  2. Ethiopian journalist likely held under anti-terrorism law « AFRO ADDIS

    […] Journalists detention a point of concern for Ethiopian bloggers as well??? ( […]

  3. Yemaneberhan Lemma

    A great article!
    U said “If Ethiopian government truly wishes to be considered as emerging democracy in Africa, its leaders must not hold freedom of the press in contempt. I rest my point. ”
    Freedom of the press, I wish. But these “government” will do whatever makes its power continue. Their only care about “how to suck Ethiopia’s resources”. That’s what Tyrants stand for, nothing else.
    ~GOD is Love & Love Wins!!!

  4. Ethiopia: Should detention of journalists worry bloggers? · Global Voices

    […] wonders whether the detention of journalists in Ethiopia should worry bloggers: “In an information being released in a mood of concern early June, by CPJ and voiced by […]

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