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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Index on Censorship nominates Yalemzewd Bekele for Award

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs humanitarian news and analysis] - [ETHIOPIA-ISRAEL: Waiting Falash Mura languish in squalor] - [Lewit: AP Reporter sacked by VOA ] - [Ship hijackers caught in Somalia]

[Cheney Targeted in Assassination Attempt ] - [Chinese stock prices plunge, Ripple Effect Spreads Across Asia ] - [4th French victim dies after Saudi attack ] - [Killer Bus Collision in Central Sweden] - [EU citizens are officially happy: poll ] and more of today's top stories!

(SUDAN) A displaced Sudanese girl carries her sister at the Otach camp in Nyala, Feb. 22. The International Criminal Court's prosecutor Today named a former Sudanese junior minister and a militia leader as suspects in war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country's Darfur region (More on this below)


March 2 - worldwide candlelight vigil for prisoners of Conscience in Ethiopia

March 4 - Candlelight vigil in front of the White House

100,000 letters-in-ten-days campaign

Surely, by now you have heard of the 100,000 letters-in-10-days campaign, but have you participated yet? (More...)_____________________________________________________

Index on Censorship nominates Yalemzewd Bekele for her outstanding defence of freedom of expression

ETP - Index on Censorship annually presents its award to courageous journalists, writers, lawyers, campaigners, filmmakers and whistleblowers from around the world who have made a significant contribution to free expression over the past year.

This year, Ethiopian Human rights activist Yalemzewd Bekele is nominated for her “outstanding defense of freedom of expression” and is in contention to win The Bindman’s Law and Campaigns Award 2007. This award will be presented to campaigning human rights organisations or individual lawyers.

Yalemzewd Bekele is a prominent human rights lawyer whose projects focus on civil society and women’s issues.

Ethiopian authorities held Bekele for eight days in October. Amnesty International believed her to be at high risk of torture and mistreatment.

The 7th annual Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression awards will be presented at LSO St Luke's, London, on 14 March 2007.

Index on Censorship was founded in 1972 by a group of writers, journalists and artists, who were inspired to take to the page in defence of the basic human right of freedom of expression.

Initially, Index on Censorship focused on censorship in the former Soviet Union. Since the demise of communism in the 1990's, the magazine has sought to shed light on other challenges facing free expression, including religious extremism, the rise of nationalism, and Internet censorship. [see list of Nominees]

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs humanitarian news and analysis

the aftermath of Ethiopia’s landmark May 2005 parliamentary elections laid bare the deeply entrenched patterns of political repression, human-rights abuse and impunity that characterise the day-to-day reality of governance in much of the country.


The media in Ethiopia is not free, with frequent government crackdowns on the independent press.

After the contested 2005 elections, authorities detained more than a dozen journalists, issued a wanted list of editors and publishers, and threatened to charge journalists with treason, an offence punishable by death in Ethiopia. The media were accused of acting as "mouthpieces" for the opposition.

State-owned media, which include most of Ethiopia's radio and television stations, reflect government policy although the number of private newspapers has grown.

Human rights

Ethiopia’s human-rights record deteriorated after the May 2005 elections when many Ethiopians experienced heavy-handed government efforts to suppress and punish any form of political dissent, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The aftermath of the May elections was marred by controversy and displays of government brutality that threatened to reverse the gains yielded by the electoral process. These tensions exploded in early June and November when protests broke out in Addis Ababa.

Police and military forces responded with excessive force, killing at least 82 unarmed civilians and arresting thousands of opposition supporters throughout the country.

Authorities in the vast Oromia region have used exaggerated concerns about armed insurgency and ‘terrorism’ to justify the torture, imprisonment and sustained harassment of their critics and even ordinary citizens, according to HRW. In addition, there are restrictions on press freedom, judicial delay, and arrests of human-rights defenders.(See full report)

Lewit: AP Reporter sacked by VOA

According to sources, Ethiopia’s AP reporter Les Nehaus has been sacked by Voice of America, following inflammatory comments recently made public on Ethiopian Review.

As one of two foreign correspondents permanently stationed in Ethiopa (following the expulsion of his predecessor Anthony Mitchell) he has been often criticized here for evading such great responsibility by failing to accurately report the current political landscape and escalating EPRDF brutality.

However, thanks to his charming opinions on the Somalian invasion and factions of the diaspora (as “the sons and daughters of the Derg officials who now live comfortably in Georgetown”) his critics now include his former employer and many abroad.(More...)

ETHIOPIA-ISRAEL: Waiting Falash Mura languish in squalor

TEL AVIV, 27 February 2007 (IRIN) - Thousands of Ethiopian former Jews have been waiting more than 10 years in disease-ridden camps in Ethiopia for the Israeli government to take them to Israel, NGOs say.

About 16,000 of the Falash Mura – Jews who converted to Christianity, and some who reverted back - live in squalid conditions in immigration compounds in the capital, Addis Ababa, the city of Gondar in north-western Ethiopia, and in villages.

In these compounds, tuberculosis and hepatitis are rife and children routinely die of preventable diseases such as measles, according to Falash Mura who have made it to Israel and specialists who have visited them.(More...)

Ship hijackers caught in Somalia

Four pirates who are part of the gang that have hijacked a United Nations-chartered cargo ship in Somali have been arrested, aid officials say.

The UN said the authorities in Puntland arrested the gunmen when they went to purchase supplies in Bargal port

The hijacked ship, MV Rozen, had just delivered food aid to north-eastern Somalia when pirates seized it.(More...)

Today's Top Stories

-ICC names first war crimes suspects in Darfur (The International Criminal Court prosecutors named the first two suspects accused of committing war crimes in Sudan's Darfur)
-Cheney Targeted in Assassination Attempt
-4th French victim dies after Saudi attack
-Bus Collision Kills 6 in Central Sweden
-Chinese stock prices plunge, Ripple Effect Spreads Across Asia
-European research goes for gold (Europe has a new flagship agency to fund the brightest ideas in science)
-Mother coached children to fake retardation
-EU citizens are officially happy: poll