Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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PoliticsJournalist association calls for an end to incarcerations

Journalist association calls for an end to incarcerations

The Ethiopian Mass Media Professionals Association (EMMPA) called on officials to end ongoing arbitrary arrests and detention of journalists.

In a statement released on Friday, the Association condemned the authorities’ continued use of incarcerating media practitioners. It lamented the unlawful detention, imprisonment and concealing the whereabouts of journalists after they are grabbed by government security forces.

According to the statement, in recent periods, it has become clear that officials are inclined to accuse and perceive journalists as an enemy of the state and government. It also listed several names of journalists, who are detained and are still in detention centers, despite courts granting them bail for some of the detainees.

Solomon Mucche, deputy president of the Association and a journalist, speaking with The Reporter said “the level of arbitrary detention of journalists and media practitioners is alarmingly increasing and it concerns us as an individual and as a member of the association.” 

“The government should pave the way for the media and journalists to investigate mal-administrations and expose other human rights abuses in and around society,” Solomon said adding, “We need to know why this government fears journalists, while they are considered as the Fourth Estate who can stand together with the government.’’

Similarly, the communication head of the association, Dawit Begashw said “I regret the recent inappropriate actions of officials’, while we are expecting a better journalism platform as we envisioned and see in the developed world.”

As the fourth estate, media professionals should have been supported. However, the existing arbitrary arrest of professionals is the manifestation of a lack of proper knowledge and skill on the part of the authorities.

“We are proceeding in a worst scenario of the journalism profession, as journalists are hunted and endangered just because of their reporting,” Dawit added.

The Association also requested the national dialogue commission to include representatives of journalists during the dialogue’s proceedings.

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