Ethiopia: Leading Weekly’s Website Blocked for Past Six Days – Reporters sans Frontières (Paris)

April 26th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

Reporters Without Borders is very worried to learn that access to the Amharic website of Ethiopia’s leading independent, privately-owned weekly, The Reporter, has been blocked for the past five days. No one has been able to access the site from within Ethiopia since around 4:30 p.m. on 21 April unless they use a proxy server.

The reason for the blocking is unclear and Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to provide an explanation. “Everything indicates that the blocking is being carried by the state-owned company Ethio-Telecom, since it is Ethiopia’s only Internet Service Provider,” the press freedom organization said.

Media Communication Centre (MCC), the company that publishes The Reporter, has asked Ethio-Telecom for an explanation but has not yet received a response.

“Website blocking is not new in Ethiopia but a leading independent newspaper’s site has never previously been affected,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Tests carried out by the OpenNet Initiative in 2008 and 2009 showed that certain outspoken or opposition sites based abroad were the target of filtering, but this is the first time a newspaper such as The Reporter has been targeted.”

The Reporter’s site normally has upward of 30,000 visitors a day, more than five times the number of readers of the print version. “Has The Reporter’s site been blocked to prevent the dissemination of sensitive articles,” Reporters Without Borders asked.

Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to restore access to the site for Ethiopian Internet users and reiterates its opposition to the filtering and blocking of online content.

Its view is shared by of the United Nations special rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, who recommended in a June 2011 report that the flow of information online should be restricted to “few, exceptional, and limited circumstances prescribed by international human rights law.” He also said “the right to freedom of expression must be the norm, and any limitation considered as an exception.”

  1. Yared
    | #1

    Woyane blocked Reporter because it reported about the deportation of Amhara from South Ethiopia. TPLF is doing everything it can to hide the ethnic cleansing against Amhara people.

  2. biye
    | #2

    No surprise, the days of the demise of the woyane are approaching fast. shut everything down, jail all journalists. this is how the woyane choose to ‘create’ peace for themselves. muzzle everyone! it is foolishness to expect any peace by muzzling people. the woyane are desperate.

  3. ዝባድ አለው
    | #3

    አይቀሬ እንደሆነ እኔም ተሰምቶኛ:: የኢትዮጵያ ሪፖርተር በተለይ የዐማርኛው ድረ-ገጽ በጣም ተወዳጅና ትችት ሰጪዎች በብዛት የሚያዘወትሩት መካን ሆኖ ነበር:: ድረ-መካኑ ከዓመት ወዲህ የሚያወጣቸው ድዝገባዎች በጣም ጎሻሚና ወራፊ, መንግሥትንም አብጠልጣይ ናቸው:: እንደ ተቃዋሚ ወይም የውጪ ተጻጻሪ መካነ-ድራት ሳይሆን አቀራረቡ የ ኢ.ህ.ኣ.ዴ.ግ ጎራ አባል ሆኖ ነገር ግን በጣም ነቃፊና እንደማስተካከያ ሊታዩ የሚችሉ ፅሁፎችን አቅርቧል::

    ያው እንግዲህ መንግሥት እርማት ስለማይዋጥለት ወደ አፈናው ሄዷል:: ይህ አዲስ ነገር አይደለም:: የሚከተለውን እናያለን:: ስውዬውንም ማሰር, የንግድ ፈቃዱንም ማገድ ይችላሉ:: አገራቸው ነው, እኛ የግዞት ተገዢዎች ነን:: እግዜር ያብጀው::

  4. tazabi
    | #4

    Good news! They have unblocked it… now it opens in Ethiopia

  5. Tekle
    | #5

    What did you do with my comment? You complain about censorship and you are the one who is committing it? What a hypocrisy?

  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    we should not belive weyanes,amare aregaw and meles mean one coin with to face. both blive on they are librate tigrian from the opreserse ethiopians

  7. kiris
    | #7

    it is false. Reporter and Amare wants to get their newspaper sale to increase. Otherwise the reporter never been an independent newspaper.

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