Anniversary of elections evokes worldwide complaint

Region :None
Country :Ethiopia
Topic :Press Freedom
17/05/2006
Press freedom watchdogs marked the first anniversary of Ethiopia’s legislative elections by calling on Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to free 21 jailed journalists, some of whom face the death penalty.
Last year's May 15, 2005, elections were troubled by violence and allegations of electoral fraud. Security forces opened fire on demonstrations in June and again in November, killing about 80 people, according to Amnesty International.
Those elections gave the ruling party two-thirds of Parliament, which international observers say has granted Zenawi nearly absolute control of the country. Meanwhile, press freedom watchdogs like Reporters Without Borders (RSF) say that since those elections, the government has used threats, arrests and incarcerations in a crackdown on the news media.
RSF sent Zenawi a May 12 letter denouncing the crackdown and calling for amnesty for those currently imprisoned.
East African journalists at a May 5 meeting in Tanzania condemned the crackdown in Ethiopia. "We find it shameful that Ethiopia is emerging as a pariah state on the African continent,” the participants of the African Media Conference said in a signed statement.

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at3:36 PM

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