Interview with Ato Yonathan Tesfaye, Spokesman For the Blue Party in Ethioipans Forun For Political Civility!
By Les Neuhaus (International Journalists’ Network)
Covering Ethiopia isn’t easy for any journalist working in the Horn of Africa country. For years it has been ranked as one of the worst offenders for press freedom in the world and in April the Committee to Protect Journalists placed it fourth on their annual list of the 10-most censored countries, right after Eritrea, North Korea and Saudi Arabia.Read more: Upcoming Ethiopian polls carry lessons from past for journalists now
By Simegnish (Lily) Mengesha | Center for International Media Assistance)
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Vietnamese blogger “Dieu Clay” (left), and Simegnesh “Lily” Mengesha (right), on May 1, 2015. For any ordinary person, engaging in discussion with the world’s most powerful leader feels close to impossible. But I experienced the impossible when I met President Barack Obama on World Press Freedom Day to speak about media restrictions in Ethiopia.
My invitation to the White House came a few days after Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman issued a startling statement praising the Ethiopian government: “Ethiopia is a democracy that is moving forward,” she said.Read more: Ethiopia: Enough with Whispering about Media Freedom!
EPRDF“If the dignity of the individual is upheld across Africa… Americans will be freer as well… I believe that none of us are fully free when others in the human family remain shackled by poverty or disease or oppression.” President Obama, June 30, 2013 This is true in my country of origin, Ethiopia where a single party has ruled for 25 years and intends to rule perpetually. This “Orwellian” state receives over $4 billion annually, the largest in Africa and the U.S. is the largest bilateral donor.
Imagine one party winning elections every 4 years in the U.S. by barring or intimidating contestants. Imagine candidates being clubbed, jailed and or forced to flee if they protest peacefully.Read more: Op-ed – Ethiopia where a single party has ruled for 25 years