Ethiopia ready to censor, crackdown on Internet, radio and TV

Mohammed Awad,  April 05, 2013

ADDIS ABABA: Worries are abounding in Ethiopia that the government is preparing to pass new legislation that would censor almost all forms of media, both traditional and new.

The new draft law is reportedly being prepared by a steering committee constituting the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority, Ethiopian Ministry of Communications & Information Technology and Information Network Security Agency.

The Ethiopia Radio & Television Agency is also participating in the drafting process of the new law.

Activists and journalists and have lashed out at the government, saying it is a way of stifling any dissent and opposition to the government’s policies.

“We are fed up with this and hope that it will not come and happen because it would mean the end to any semblance of freedom of speech in the country,” 29-year-old activist and blogger Geteye told Bikyanews.com.

“We cannot allow the government to stifle our ability to be free and have fair discussions in our media. This is dictatorship.”

The bill is required to regulate Internet, television and radio broadcasts, once the current analogue infrastructure is transformed to a digital system.

“The law is needed, in order to prepare for the management complexities that will follow digitization,” Leul said.

A federal agency will also be established  to administer the broadcasting network and radio waves, with Ethiopian Broadcast Authority controlling the content transmitted on different channels, according to Leul.

Under the new bill, additional licenses are expected to be issued, including mobile TV broadcasting license, Bedlu Weldemariam, mass media registration & license director, at the Ethiopian Broadcast Authority.

It comes after a report suggested that the Ethiopian government was using spyware to keep tabs on activists and opposition leaders in the country, which also angered activists, who have called for the international community to take note of what is happening in the country on freedom of speech issues.

BN

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Posted by on April 7, 2013. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

4 Responses to Ethiopia ready to censor, crackdown on Internet, radio and TV

  1. Genet Reply

    April 7, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    This news is very exaggerated and biased. Every new policy made, any new laws make the opposition media panic and assume it’s done in order to hurt the free world. I have a news flash for you, it is not.

    Democracy needs control, the last time the Ethiopian government didn’t control, many young people died for nothing, but you go and hide in North America. So try to learn your own responsibilities when using your freedoms. The end of one freedom is the start line of the other, don’t cross the line.

  2. joro Reply

    April 7, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    why you guys are “አድሮ ትጃ” this woyane policy been around for 20 years

  3. hun Reply

    April 12, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    Weyenes fear the internet and the free flow of information. Let Weyenes live in fear. They can not stop it. Their crimes always come out. If you want democracy keep writing and exposing weyenes.

  4. hun Reply

    April 12, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    Writing what you think freely is part of democracy, and do not think because weyenes are still in power, what you write has no effect. It is making Weyenes nervous. That is why they still come up with new laws to restrict free speech. So if you have any opportunity, keep writing and exposing. Let dictators live in fear.

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