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Sweden minister speaks on freedom of expression in Ethiopia
afrol News, 17 December - Freedom of expression is increasingly being limited in Ethiopia. The Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson, has said.
"It is a serious matter that one of the few independent newspapers in Ethiopia has been closed. Reports that journalists have been harassed are a cause for great concern," said Ms Carlsson.
"Free and independent media are one of the cornerstones of a democratic society. It is particularly important that the media are allowed to conduct their business freely and that people are allowed to take part in an open debate ahead of the upcoming elections in Ethiopia next year," Ms Carlsson also stressed.
Addis Neger has been one of the few private newspapers in Ethiopia. It was based in Addis Ababa and was published weekly in Amharic. The newspaper has now closed and three of its editors have left the country.
According to reports, the editors were threatened with prosecution under a new anti-terrorism law and people working for the newspaper have long been under pressure. Political observers and human rights activists have said the fact that the scope for democracy and pluralism is shrinking in Ethiopia is particularly serious given the upcoming elections in 2010.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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