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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Watchdog - Ethiopia blocks opposition Web sites

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[Freed oil workers arrive in Ethiopia capital] - [Lidetu's UEDP-Mehdin 'big announcement' creates confusion] - [Ethiopian opposition mulls defence in treason trial] - [Security Council deplores rising civilian deaths in Somalia]

[Blair endorses Brown as Britain's next leader ] - [Royal, Sarkozy engage in battle for centrist vote ] - [Iran tops list of state terror sponsors] - [Reversing Alzheimer's memory loss may be possible ] and more of today's top stories!

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, released Chinese workers arrive at a military airport in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, Monday, April 30, 2007. Seven Chinese workers, kidnapped Tuesday, April 24, 2007, in an attack on a Chinese oil company in Ethiopia, were released and arrived in Addis Ababa Monday afternoon. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Wang Ying)


Amharic Translation of HR 2003

The Coalition for H.R. 5680 is pleased to present an Amharic translation of H.R. 2003 for its reading audience. The extraordinary translation work was done by Tekle Atalay, a human rights defender and Coalition supporter.

International Ethiopian Women Organization Interview with Professor Al Mariam


Yidres . . .
Poem by Tewodros Abebe


Ethiopia blocks opposition Web sites - watchdog

ADDIS ABABA, May 1 (Reuters) - An Internet watchdog on Tuesday accused Ethiopia of blocking scores of anti-government Web sites and millions of Weblogs in one of sub-Saharan Africa's biggest cases of cyber-censorship.

Web monitor, the OpenNet Initiative, said the Horn of Africa country was stopping citizens from viewing opposition-linked Web sites, and blogs hosted by Blogger, an online journal community owned by Internet search engine Google Inc.

The OpenNet Initiative - a partnership between Harvard Law School, and universities of Toronto and Cambridge and Oxford - said it had gathered proof of interference.

"We have run diagnostic tests using volunteers in Ethiopia which indicate that they are blocking IP addresses," OpenNet research director Robert Faris said, referring to the unique numeric addresses of Web sites.

"The evidence is overwhelming that that is what they are doing. ... Most of the sites that we found blocked were related to freedom of expression, human rights and political opposition," he said by telephone from the United States.

The allegations could be embarrassing for the Ethiopian government, which is a major ally of the United States in Africa and has been criticised for a post-election crackdown on opposition that killed nearly 200 people in 2005.

"I think it's a decision that makes the Ethiopian government look extremely hostile to free speech and to open political discourse," said Ethan Zuckerman, research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society in the United States.(More...)

Lidetu's UEDP-Mehdin 'big announcement' creates confusion

"To come out with such an announcement is nothing short of stating that UEDP (Lidetu) is a subsidiary and avid follower of the EPRDF" - Beyene Petros

"The UEDP’s move is a positive one on the path to democracy, but it has come too late" - Bereket Simon (B.S)

"There is no politician like Lidetu Ayalew in Ethiopia. In any other country, he would have been laughed out of court donkey's years ago" - Ethio-Zagol

UEDP-Mehdin announced, at a press conference held on Friday, April 27, 2007, that it would be changing its current modus operandi from blind opposition to a ‘third way’.

The Party stated that this new system of working would appreciate the ruling coalition, EPRDF, when it accomplished positive feats and denounce it when it was involved in negative ones.

Following the May 2005 national elections, UEDP has experienced a political bankruptcy that is a result of a negative outlook that was developed by the voting public.

In the past 17 months, the Party has been trying to ease the tensions with the public as well as to solve internal conflicts that had practically spilt the Party in two. In its latest announcement, UEDP is attempting to use a political mannerism that is new to the nation and that can be a middle ground for the incumbent and opposition parties alike.

“The Party is trying to amend the mistakes that it has made during its years of struggle and to further strengthen its strong points,” said the statement presented on Friday. “We wish to continue as an opposition party in Ethiopian politics and have chosen this path to do it.”(More...)

Ethiopian opposition mulls defence in treason trial

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopian opposition members accused of treason for their role in protests after 2005 elections said they were mulling a defence, after boycotting participation in a case they say is politically motivated.

Twenty-one defendants, who have been in jail for more than a year, said they wanted to review the evidence against them before deciding whether to mount a defence as ordered by the judge.

"We ask the court to make available to us documents of the court's decision ... and testimony of the witnesses for the prosecution to review the gravity of our case and decide whether to defend ourselves," defendant Abaynieh Alemu told the court.

Judge Adil Ahmed said he would decide by Wednesday. Chief prosecutor Shimeles Kemal objected to the defence move.(More...)

Ethiopia: Abay Tsehaye Removed From DBE Board

Abay Tsehaye, special advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Mobilisation with the portfolio of minister, was removed from his seat on the Board of Directors of the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE).

In a letter signed by Neway Gebreab, chief economic advisor to the Prime Minister, the Management and Board Members of the Bank were informed of Abay's removal.

Abay, who is a party member of the EPRDF, and who headed the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) until he was replaced by Meles Zenawi, was appointed as a DBE Board Member on August 3, 2006.(More...)

Freed oil workers arrive in Ethiopia capital

ADDIS ABABA: Seven Chinese oil workers abducted by Ethiopian rebels after a deadly attack on an oil venture arrived here yesterday, a day after being freed, Chinese officials said.

The hostages arrived in Addis Ababa aboard a military helicopter from the country’s eastern Ogaden region, where they had been held since last Tuesday, when the rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) raided the Chinese-run oil site, killing 77 people.

“Yes, they have already arrived. They are at the Chinese embassy as of now,” an embassy official at the airport said on condition of anonymity. He gave no further details.(More...)

Security Council deplores rising civilian deaths in Somalia

30 April 2007 – Deeply deploring the civilian deaths resulting from renewed fighting in Somalia, the Security Council today urged the country’s Government to reach out to all segments of the war-torn country’s society, while demanding that the warring parties allow relief aid to reach those in need.

In a statement read by Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry of the United Kingdom, which holds this month’s rotating presidency, the 15-member body stressed the Government’s need to promote “the widest possible political dialogue across Somalia” and said that in particular, it must “intensify its dialogue with the clans” in the capital Mogadishu.(More...)

Today's Top International Stories

-White House spokesman back at work after cancer surgery
-Blair endorses Brown as Britain's next leader
-Royal, Sarkozy engage in battle for centrist vote
-Iran tops list of state terror sponsors
-Pressure builds in Israel for Olmert to step down
-Leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq reported killed
-Reversing Alzheimer's memory loss may be possible