Journalist witnesses government’s brutality

nebiyat gebessaEMF — Journalist Nebiat Gebissa, who worked in the state-owned Ethiopia radio and television Agency (ERTA), witnesse government’s crackdown on the mass media, rampant corruption and the ongoing human right abuses in Ethiopia.

“Journalists at ERTA are severely restricted by government censorship and exercise self censorship while free press journalists are often imprisoned for any critical coverage.” Nebiat said in a brief interview with EMF. “That is why we all are refrained from any critical commentaries on the government”

Article 29, 3a of the constitution prohibits any form of censorship in Ethiopia.

According to Nebiat, self censorship is prevalent in Ethiopia especially during elections periods. In 2005 election, she had to make a live coverage in the capital where an opposition CUD party swiped all the contested seats. The next day, she was harassed, jailed for 43 days and finally told to leave the agency.

She was labeled as member of the opposition party – anti government journalist. She then started working at Ethiopian volunteer media professionals on population and development issues.

Journalist Dereje Tedla who defected to Japan says, the general manger of the government Press Agency, Kefyalew Azeze, insists all government journalists to produce false news about opposition parties. “Any journalist who refuse order from the authorities to misinform the public are threatened to death.” he said.

Dereje Tedla
Dereje Tedla

Nebiat also witnessed government’s blockage of accesses to all critical internet websites.

In Ethiopia, any form of criticism against the government, exposure of corruption or right abuses are exposes the journalist from intimidation to capital punishment, she said.

According to independent media watchdogs Ethiopia is on the top of Africa’s enemies of the free press.

Nahumiin Bikila
Nuhamiin Biqila Yadataa

At least 106 free press journalists and 50 government journalists are known to have been exiled for fear of persecutions.

Nuhamiin Biqila Yadataa, a woman VOA journalist exiled to UK after suffering under Ethiopian security forces. Nuhamiin Biqilaa was targeted by th Government because of her fact based report which was exposing the dictator government human rights abuses.

Shewangizaw Kassahun
Shewangizaw Kassahun

Shewangizaw Kassahun, special journalist at the Prime Minister’s office, who was also head of the Audio Visual department at the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA), came to the US with Meles Zenawi to attend UN general assembly, didn’t want to get back.

Two decades in power, the government of Meles Zenawi has incarcerated more journalists than any other country in the world.

Journalist Gebissa can be reached at:

Below is government journalists victimized after the May 2005 elections:

1 Eshetu Geletu Ethiopian radio
2 Eyader Addis Ethiopian radio
3 Daniel Amare Ethiopian radio
4 Tigst Asfaw FM97 1 radio
5 Selome Desta FM97 1 radio
6 Nigussei Kibru Ethiopian news agency(ENA)
7 Worku Chala ENA
8 Teshager Shiferaw ENA
9 Sileshi Tessema ENA
10 Eliyas Amare Ethiopian tv(ETV)
11 Ashenafi Berihun ETV
12 Abnet Bekele ETV
13 Zelalem Gudeta ETV
14 Fikadu Damte ETV
15 Bereket Teklu ETV
16 Habtamu Bogale ETV
17 Samuel Fikre ETV
18 Endale Zewde ETV
19 Genet Abebe ETV freelancer
20 Hailegebriel Endashaw Ethiopian Press Agency(EPA)
21 Berhanu Assefa EPA
22 Tsige Gebreamlak EPA
23 Abebech Wolde EPA
24 Letekidan EPA
25 Daniel Mekonnen EPA
26 Zenebe Wella EPA
27 Gashaw Melese EPA
28 Kersima Musien EPA
29 Matha Hailu EPA
30 Melaku Adela EPA
31 Hassen Ousman EPA
32 Eskinder EPA
33 Getachew Shiferaw EPA
34 Solomon Getachew EPA
35 Yalew Aklilu EPA
36 Tewodros Atlaw EPA
37 Eskinder Merhatsaedik
38 Journalist Tesfaye defected
39 Martha Beley
40 Abebe Feleke
41 Tesfahun Demissie Dargie
42 Dereje Tedla Ethiopian Press Agency
43 Million Balkachew Erthiopian News Agency
44 Mesfine Masresha Erthiopian News Agency
45 Yohanns Alemayehu Radio Fana
46 Anteneh Zewdie Ethiopia Radio
47 Tamiru weldemichael Ethiopian Press Agency
48 Hirut Gebreamlak Ethiopian Television
49 Nebiat Gebissa Ethiopia radio and television Agency (ERTA)

Members of the free press journalists who are in exile:

Nr. Name of Journalist Media Host country
1 Nebiyou Eyassu Afrika Kend USA
2 Metsafe Sirak Muday ” “
3 Mulugeta Lule Tobia ” “
4 Elias Wondimu Mogad ” “
5 Nayk Kassaye Beza ” “
6 Nega Tariku Kiyit ” “
7 Aklilu Tadesse Maebel ” “
8 Andualem Mohamed Kiyit ” “
9 Fisseha Tadesse Tarik ” “
10 Dawit Kebede Fiameta ” “
11 Moges Kebede Damotra ” “
12 Derege Degefa Reporter ” “
13 Moges Damte Mogad/ Mestawet ” “
14 Messele Haddis Aimiro ” “
15 Tewodros H. Dagne Maebel, Dink ” “
16 Tedbabe Tillahun Aimiro ” “
17 Nigusse Ayele Lucy ” “
18 Dereje Desta The Ethiopian ” “
19 Gamachu Melka Urji Canada
20 Seifu Mekonnen Mebreq Canada
21 Moges Meskelu Ethiop Canada
22 Habtamu Kebede Fiameta Canada
23 Fresew Feleke Canada
24 Dawit Demissie Tikur Dem ” “
25 Bruk Kebede Fiameta ” “
26 Atkiliti Assefa Feleg ” “
27 Yohanes Assegid Goh Netherlands
28 Kefale Mammo Ruh ” “
29 Kibret Mekonnen Aimiro ” “
30 Kinfu Assefa Mogad ” “
31 Tefera Asmare Ethiopis ” “
32 Yoseph Yetemgeta Mahlet ” “
33 Tewodros Haddis Aimiro/Mogad ” “
34 Sisay Gebrelul Admas ” “
35 Temesgen Afework DC USA
36 Asrat Damtew Muday Germany
37 Girma Endrias Zenaadmas/Ruhama/ Ethiop Norway
38 Dereje Birru Tequami Norway
39 Biniam Tadesse Agere England
40 Abebe Gelaw Express England
41 Melaku Tsegaye Muday/Ethiopis Canada
42 Kassahun Seboka Tomar Australia
43 Tilahun Asrat Hilina Egypt
44 Abiy Afework Tequami/Fetash Australia
45 Sintayehu Birro Tikuret Canada
46 Berehanu Liyew Kiyet/Irkata Canada
47 Seleshi Tegegn Gemoraw S.Africa
48 Lulu Kebede Nika Canada
49 Maeregu Muluneh Zegabi Kenya
50 Wondwossen Melesse Tarik/Kiyit Kenya
51 Yohanes Abebe Remet Kenya
52 Anteneh Merid Tobia Canada
53 Girma Degefa Nazrawit USA
54 Yared Berhanu Nazrawit Canda
55 Nega Getahun Marathon Canada
56 Samson Sahele Aimiro/Mogad South Africa
57 Getahun Bekele Tarik South Africa
58 Akalu Atlaw Agere USA
59 Kasahun Tadesse Gennanaw Kenya/Canda
60 Israel Seboka Seyefe. Nebelebal Canada
61 Samson Siyum Goh /Ethio. Time USA
62 Alemayehu Mahitemwork Gennanaw Addis Abeba
63 Girmay Berhe Reporter Norway
64 Abel Fikregnoch USA
65 Tesfaye Deressa Urji Canada
66 Garuma Bekele Urji Canada
67 Solomon Namara urji Canada
68 Wondwossen Teklu Goh Kenya
69 Yidnekachew Chane Maebel Kenya
70 Abebe Bazezew Kibrit Kenya
71 Abreham Belay Kibrit Kenya
72 Abera Wogi Maebel USA
73 Azmeraye Daniel Ethio. Time Kenya
74 Zerhun Damtew Fetash Kenya
75 Kedria Hussein Fiameta Kenya
77 Yared Kinfe Nigat Sweden
78 Tewodros Haile Bekele Dink USA
79 Kifle Mulat Lisane Hizb (EFJA) Uganda
80 Tamiru Geda (EFJA) United Kingdom
81 Feseha Alemu Tarik USA
82 Elias Lemma Maebel Kenya
83 Kasahun Lemma Agere Kenya
84 Kedushabt Belachew Lisan. Hizb Egypt
85 Hbtamu Assefa EFJA Executive Egypt
86 Tamrat Serbessa Askual Yemen
87 Daniel Gezahgn Moged Yemen
88 Henok Alemayehu Medina Sudan
89 Befikadu Moreda Tomar Kenya
90 Sileshi Woldeyes Tomar/ Ze. presse Kenya
91 Abebe Demeke Abay Norway
92 Abera Lemma Aimiro/ Norway
93 Dereje Begashaw Kenya
94 Daniel Gezahegn Yemen
95 Tamerat Serbessa Yemen
96 Dereje Habtewold The Netherlands
97 Fasil Yenealem The Netherlands
98 Feleke Tibebu USA
99 Eyob Bayssa USA
100 Negussie Gamma UK
101 Teshale Mariam UK
102 Nardos Meaza USA
103 Abrham Tezera USA
103 Mesfin Tesfaye USA
105 Abdissa USAKenya
106 Wesenseged Mersha Sangeorge
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Posted by on November 6, 2009. Filed under NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.