Home | News    Sunday 22 December 2013

CPJ: Eritrea, Ethiopia among top journalist jailers


December 21, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – Press freedom group, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), has again listed Ethiopia and Eritrea among the top-ten countries who jail journalists.

According to CPJ’s annual census, released on Wednesday, Eritrea remains Africa’s top jailer of journalists, with 22 being locked behind bars.

The survey said none of the detained journalists in Eritrea were charged or brought for a trial.

Neighbouring Ethiopia is ranked as Africa’s second worst, with seven journalists in jail. Egypt follows with five compared to none in 2012.

CPJ’s East Africa consultant, Tom Rhodes, said Eritrea and Ethiopia are ranked among the world’s worst countries for press freedom because their government’s are intolerant for dissent.

"I think they have been on this list year-in, year-out simply because of the governments’ lack of tolerance towards any kind criticism. Every time a reporter reports something critically, they throw them in jail,” he said.

Rhodes says it is very hard to acquire credible information from the secretive Eritrea nation as the Red Sea nation doesn’t allow any foreign journalists or independent bodies to operate.

"It is really a closed off country. It is considered the North Korea of Africa. That said, we mostly rely on exiled journalists, Eritreans who fled the country that tell us what’s going on," he said.

Since Ethiopia introduced its anti-terrorism law in 2009, detention against journalists and opposition members has sharply increased.

Ethiopia says the journalists were not imprisoned for their reporting but on terrorism related offenses.

International human rights organisations say Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law is deliberately vague and broadly defined which in order to punish dissent and critical journalists.

“Since it was passed, the law has created a climate of fear among the media and it has limited our coverage” a local journalist who works for an independent newspaper told Sudan Tribune on condition of anonymity.

Part of Ethiopia’s “Anti-Terrorism Proclamation No. 652/2009” says that any individual who “writes, edits, prints, publishes, publicizes, disseminates, shows, makes to be heard any promotional statements encouraging, supporting or advancing terrorist acts” is deemed a "terrorist".

"If you are a critical journalist, you could be considered as being a terrorist supporter” said the journalist adding "the very few critical voices have gone following the sweeping law”.

He said his colleague was charged under the anti-terrorism law after repeatedly writing stories that criticise the government.

Ethiopia is among the five countries which account for nearly half the total number of journalists’ worldwide forced into exile during the past decade. The other four countries are Iran, Somalia, Iraq and Zimbabwe.

According to the latest survey, Turkey, Iran, and China are the three leading jailers of journalists, accounting for more than half of the 211 journalists still imprisoned worldwide.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article


The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Uganda’s military intervention in South Sudan under international law 2014-04-19 09:37:28 Is there foreign policy principle justifying Uganda’s military intervention in South Sudan civil war and under whose authority could the exercise be carried out? By Kuajien Lual Wechtuor April (...)

Al-Bashir’s decree fell short of Sudan’s demands 2014-04-17 09:57:38 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman Ampril 16, 2014 - This article comes against the backdrop of the Decree number 158 of 2014 passed by the National Congress Party (NCP) president Marshal Omer Hassan Ahmed (...)

Why hiring a lawyer if you can buy a judge 2014-04-17 09:11:43 By Dong Samuel Luak April 16, 2014 - Many people in South Sudan are asking, how long did it take President Salva Kiir to plan all this tragedy befalling our young country now? Recruitment, (...)



Latest Press Releases

UNICEF supports emergency response for children in Sudan with 89 tons of life-saving supplies 2014-04-19 09:47:06 Khartoum, 18 April 2014 --- Today in Khartoum airport, UNICEF received 89 tons of life-saving supplies to support the humanitarian response to children affected by emergencies in various hot (...)

Letter to the South Sudanese government on the ratification of the African Charter 2014-04-16 06:24:18 Letter to the Government of South Sudan on the ratification of the African Charter H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit President of the Republic of South Sudan Juba, South Sudan CC: Dr. Barnaba Benjamin (...)

In Sudan, at least 26,000 primary school children risk repeating an entire school year 2014-03-21 08:42:00 UNICEF SUDAN PRESS RELEASE In Sudan, at least 26,000 primary school children risk repeating an entire school year Khartoum, 20 March 2014 --- Primary school-aged children in Sudan are in (...)


Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.