Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation on freedom of expression in Ethiopia
Freedom of expression is increasingly being limited in Ethiopia. The newspaper Addis Neger has been forced to close and three of its editors have left Ethiopia.
“It is a serious matter that one of the few independent newspapers in Ethiopia has been closed. Reports that journalists have been harassed are a cause for great concern,” says Gunilla Carlsson.
“Free and independent media are one of the cornerstones of a democratic society. It is particularly important that the media are allowed to conduct their business freely and that people are allowed to take part in an open debate ahead of the upcoming elections in Ethiopia next year,” Ms Carlsson stresses.
Addis Neger has been one of the few private newspapers in Ethiopia. It was based in Addis Ababa and was published weekly in Amharic. The newspaper has now closed and three of its editors have left the country. According to reports, the editors were threatened with prosecution under a new anti-terrorism law and people working for the newspaper have long been under pressure. The fact that the scope for democracy and pluralism is shrinking in Ethiopia is particularly serious given the upcoming elections in 2010.
Press Secretary to Gunilla Carlsson
work +46 8 405 59 39
cell +46 70 283 95 97
email to Peter Larsson