World Association of News Publishers

WAN-IFRA Board Resolution - Ethiopia, 2 September 2012

WAN-IFRA Board Resolution - Ethiopia, 2 September 2012

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The Board of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), meeting on 2 September 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine during the 64th World Newspaper Congress and 19th World Editors Forum, calls on the Ethiopian authorities to immediately end its use of vague anti-terrorism legislation to prevent the printing and distribution of the opposition press and to silence journalists critical of government policies.

The Board notes with grave concern the increasing use of anti-terrorism legislation to incarcerate journalists.  Such legislation was used as recently as 14 July to jail journalist Eskinder Nega for a term of 18 years, while in January 2012 Reyot Alemu, editor of opposition newspaper Feteh, was also imprisoned.

The Board further notes with concern that the state-owned printing company now reserves the right to refuse publication of anything that could be perceived as “illegal”, which could include criticism of the government under the 2009 anti-terrorism legislation.

The Board reminds the Ethiopian government that the jailing of journalists and preventing distribution of the press seriously undermines the ability of its citizens to exercise their constitutional rights to be informed and participate fully in a democratic society.

The Board therefore calls on the Ethiopian authorities to immediately release all journalists held in prison because of their writing and to ensure the state-owned printing company allows the independent press to publish and distribute its newspapers without government censorship.



Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2012-08-21 17:18

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