Another VOA editorial about the jamming of VOA Amharic.

Posted: 09 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
"With national elections in Ethiopia fast approaching, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi appears intent on controlling both the medium and the message. Reports of the harassment of opposition political figures and interfering with international media broadcasts into the country undermine the image of his government, and if the polling is to be credible, it must be an open process. Following the jamming of the Voice of America's radio broadcasts in Ethiopia's dominant Amharic language for the last four weeks, the government there appears to now have turned its attention to VOA's Internet service in the East African nation. Numerous reports have been received that VOA's website is unavailable inside Ethiopia, where individuals both inside and out of Africa often turn when they cannot get a radio signal." Editorial "reflecting the views of the United States government," Voice of America, undated (but Google says 7 April 2010). I think it's the other way around: people turn to the radio if they can't get, or don't have access to, the internet. See previous undated VOA editorial on the subject and previous post about Ethiopian jamming.
"In a recent editorial reflecting the official position of the US government, VOA has declared that silence is not golden in Ethiopia at a time when Meles is muffling America’s voice. 'While a friend and supporter of Ethiopia, the United States nevertheless cannot remain silent on such actions and censorship, which run counter to the country’s constitution. It is watching with great interest and encourages all parties there to act responsibly during the election campaign. An election cannot be run under the guise of democratic process if all candidates cannot participate freely and state their case or if political news is suppressed,' the editorial said. The statement is unprecedented by itself due to the fact that the US has chosen to turn blind eyes and deaf ears for nearly two decades. Mr. Zenawi has been committing gross human rights violations and atrocities without any serious criticisms from Washington and its allies, which are known to be too quick to condemn unfriendly tyrants in countries like Burma, Zimbabwe, Iran and Cuba." Abebe Gellaw, abugudainfo.com, 9 April 2010.