ESAT News (May 19, 2017)
The press in Ethiopia is as free as the press in Europe and the Ethiopian press is free to publish whatever it wants, says Arkebe Oqobay, advisor to Ethiopian prime minister.
Oqobay’s statement came in sharp contrast to Ethiopia’s abysmal record of crackdown on the independent press and a regime widely know for infringing freedom of speech.
The statement also came from an official of a regime known to be the world’s leading jailer of journalists.
Hundreds of Ethiopian journalists went to exile to escape persecution while a dozen still remain in jail on trumped up charges.
“There is nothing that the Ethiopian press does not publish,” the official said in an interview with the Amharic service of Deutsche Welle.
There are only five newspapers in Ethiopia published in the local language of Amharic and the English papers focus on business issues to avoid touching the dangerous subject of politics.
There were at least 350 newspapers and magazines in the early 90s when there was relative independence of the press in Ethiopia.