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United States Strongly Criticizes Ethiopia’s Jamming of Voice of America (US State Department)

Gordon Duguid
Acting Department Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 19, 2010

The United States opposes Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles’ decision to jam Voice of America’s Amharic Service and condemns his comparison of their programming to Radio Mille Collines of Rwanda. Comparing a respected and professional news service to a group that called for genocide in Rwanda is a baseless and inflammatory accusation that seeks only to deflect attention away from the core issue.

The Prime Minister may disagree with news carried in Voice of America’s Amharic Service broadcasts; however, a decision to jam VOA broadcasts contradicts the Government of Ethiopia’s frequent public commitments to freedom of the press. We note that the Ethiopian Constitution states that all citizens have the right to freedom of expression “without any interference” and that this right shall include freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, “regardless of frontiers.” The Constitution further notes that freedom of the press shall specifically include “prohibition of any form of censorship.” We look to the Government of Ethiopia to abide by its constitution.

We call on the Ethiopian Government to protect the universal and fundamental right of freedom of expression.

PRN: 2010/331

U.S. State Department

1 Comment

  1. Lammii said,

    March 21, 2010 @ 3:22 am

    Doesn’t the US understand that Ethiopia has turned into a dictatorial regime since many years? What type of freedom of speach is the US talking about? Too late! The US should have acted when TPLF first declared one party rule in Ethiopia. What were you doing when the dictator ordered series of crakdowns on journalists and the free press? Ethiopia is where the US failed to maintain its moral standard. Please act in favor of the innocent people, not the dictator! Terrorism can’t be fought and won by helping a terrorist regime of Meles in Ethiopia!