In Ethiopia, the media regulator on Thursday canceled the license for Addis Standard, one of the country’s last independent publications, in the midst of an increasingly oppressive context in the capital, for journalists covering the war as well as for civilians of Tigraian origin.
The media supervisor accuses Addis Standard of using the term “Tigray Defense Forces” to qualify the revolt that took over Mekeletwo weeks ago.
The suspension of the Addis Standard is a serious blow. The respected news site was one of the best in the Ethiopian media landscape, with balanced coverage of opponents’ trials, the frontline situation or developments in Ethiopian society more generally.
The pressure is therefore stronger now on the other press bodies that are still active and on the correspondents for the foreign press, as the media regulator has warned in its press release explaining the repeal of the Addis standard: “With freedom she says, comes responsibility and the need to be responsible. ”She criticized Addis Standard for“ defending the agenda of a terrorist group, ”no less.
This sudden gesture increases the tension in an already heavy climate. Amnesty International this morning released a detailed report on the arrest of civilians in Tigrayan that has escalated since Mekele was captured on June 28. According to former detainees, police stations are “full of people speaking Tigrinya” and authorities have ordered “massive collections” of Tigrayans, on the street or at their workplace. As early as June 30, a dozen Tigrayan journalists were arrested. They have not yet been prosecuted or brought to court.
The police in Addis Ababa have arbitrarily arrested and detained dozens of migrants, activists and journalists without due process. They must end these arbitrary detentions and reveal the location of unreported prisons. https://t.co/St5hlc3WcQ
– Amnesty International (@amnesty) July 16, 2021
On the same day, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, a public body, confirmed that it had received the same information and called on the government to “immediately release all detainees without sufficient legal basis”. She also specifically referred to three murders of Tigrayans in the Amhara region.
On the other side of the front line, she also condemned the killings and kidnappings of people accused of being opposed to the Tigrayan uprising in the territories taken over by the army, including Eritrean refugees, as well as population movements.
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