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World Press Freedom Day: Media freedom “under significant attack” in Ethiopia: new report

Addis Abeba – Amnesty International has said that “media freedom has come under significant attack” in Ethiopia in 2022, with authorities arresting at least 29 journalists and media workers across the country.

In a statement released on Wednesday, 03 May together with the Media Institute of Southern Africa to mark the World Press Freedom Day, the rights group said that the Tigrayan authorities also charged five journalists with “collaboration with the enemy” the same year.

Authorities across East and Southern Africa escalated their attacks against journalists and press freedom across the region to suppress reporting of corruption and human rights violations throughout 2022 the statement added.

“Attacks, harassment, intimidation and criminalization of journalists have been escalating in East and Southern Africa for exposing allegations of corruption and human rights violations,” the statement quoted Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, Tigere Chagutah as saying.

The statement further said authorities in the region must stop targeting journalists and media organizations for doing their job, and create a conducive environment which allows the press to work without repercussions, intimidation and imprisonment.

According to the latest press freedom index by the Reporters Without Borders, the press freedom situation in Ethiopia has further deteriorated as the country ranked 130 out of 180 countries with a global press freedom score of 47.7 in 2023. In 2022 Ethiopia was ranked 114 out of 180 with a global press freedom score of 50.53.

On 14 April Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said that at least 8 journalists were detained amid renewed unrest in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government security and intelligence taskforce allegedly accused some of the journalists for being members of a covert group that is working to dismantle the constitutional system in the Amhara region and overthrow the government. AS

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