Ethiopia: Highest Number of Exiled Journalists in the World in the Last Decade – CPJ

June 21st, 2010 Print Print Email Email

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released a special report on June 17, 2010 on journalists in exile. The report discloses that the East African nations of Ethiopia and Somalia have the highest exile rates for journalists in the world.

In particular, Ethiopia has had the highest exile rate in the world in the last decade (data compiled between August 1, 2001 and May 31, 2010) with 62 journalists fleeing the country in the face of attacks, threats, and possible imprisonment. 62 journalists – makes up about 22% of all journalists exiled from the entire continent of Africa during the same 9-year period; and 15 of those 62 Ethiopian journalists fled in the last year alone – indicating deteriorating conditions, or lack thereof, for independent press in Ethiopia.

In a related development, Leslie Lefkow of the Human Rights Watch has called for the following amendments to Ethiopia’s 2008 draconian press law at a U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health hearing on June 17, 2010:

Media Law:
- Amending provisions that apply criminal penalties, suspension of publications, and disproportionate financial penalties, and those that are otherwise not compatible with the Ethiopian Constitution and international conventions ratified by Ethiopia.
- Removing provisions that impose sanctions based on vague national security considerations and definitions.

Reports:
- CPJ: Journalists in Exile 2010 (June 17, 2010)
- Testimony of Leslie Lefkow, Senior Researcher, African Division, Human Rights Watch, at the U.S House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Hearing (June 17, 2010)

By Country (Top 10)
Number Who Fled
Ethiopia 62
Somalia 59
Iraq 51
Zimbabwe 49
Iran 40
Eritrea 32
Colombia 20
Sri Lanka 19
Uzbekistan 18
Rwanda 15

Data (August 1, 2001-May 31-2010 … Source: CPJ)

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