2007 Press Freedom Index Released, Ethiopia Ranked 150th
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ETP/AP - Ethiopia has been outranked by more than 145 countries including Zimbabwe, Sudan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia in a survey of press freedom around the world.
(Picture - Kifle Mulat, President of the Ethiopian Free Press Journalists Association, who had been arrested at least seven times in previous years)
Ethiopia was rated 150th in an index of 169 countries published today by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which examined various factors such as the way journalists are treated, freedom of speech, freedom of information and diversity of media ownership.
RSF criticized the incarceration of journalists in Ethiopia, deportation of foreign correspondents and the government’s involvement in web censorship. The report stated that most blogs and opposition websites were inaccessible in the country.
The survey also found that Ethiopia’s neighbor Eritrea had the least free media in the world, displacing North Korea.
"The privately-owned press has been banished by the authoritarian president Issaias Afeworki and the few journalists who dare to criticise the regime are thrown in prison," RSF said. "We know that four of them have died in detention and we have every reason to fear that others will suffer the same fate."
China was seventh from the bottom of the list, at 163rd, just ahead of Burma, Cuba and Iran. The top of the list was dominated by European countries, which made up 18 of the top 20.
[Click here to see Press freedom index list]
[Click here to see RSF’s annual report on Ethiopia]
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