Ethiopian government, VOA, and IFJ trade adjectives in jamming controversy.

Posted: 04 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
"Ethiopia has charged that recent human rights reports and Voice of America broadcasts are aimed at destabilizing the country ahead of the May 23 national elections. Jamming of VOA broadcasts to Ethiopia has been expanded in recent days. Government spokesman Shimelis Kemal ... defended Ethiopia's decision to jam VOA language service broadcasts, alleging that the Amharic Service has a history of sowing seeds of hatred. 'VOA in the past has repeatedly broadcast programs and statements that tend to incite, foment hatred between different ethnic groups,' he said. 'Recently, it has transmitted a program alleging the government of Ethiopia had staged state sponsored genocide in Gambela.' ... VOA Director Danforth W. Austin issued a statement Thursday calling the jamming 'unfortunate,' and strongly denying that the broadcasts are aimed at destabilizing or defaming the government of Ethiopia." Peter Heinlein, VOA News, 2 April 2010.
          "The head of the International Federation of Journalists, Aidan White, on Friday condemned Ethiopia's restrictions on broadcasts by VOA's Amharic language service. White called the government's jamming 'unprofessional' and 'intolerant.'" VOA News, 2 April 2010. See also IFJ, 1 April 2010.
     "We are all accustomed to hearing political figures, especially from authoritarian countries, make outrageous statements. But I think Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi may have uttered the most outrageous statement of all this past month when he compared Voice of America broadcasts to Ethiopia to the broadcasts of Radio Milles Collines, the infamous 'hate radio' blamed for inciting the Rwandan genocide of 1994." Alex Belida, VOA News Blog, 30 March 2010. See previous post about same subject.