The Committee to Protect Journalists on Saturday welcomed the Ethiopian government’s decision to allow access to 264 websites, including media outlets and blogs, stranded in the country.
In a tweet published on Saturday, Fitsum Arega, chief of staff of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, said that the sites now available include the diaspora news sites Oromia Media Network (OMN) and Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio (ESAT). Belay Manaye, a journalist in Addis Ababa, confirmed to CPJ that these sites are accessible in Ethiopia.
Freedom of expression is a foundational right that other rights depend on. #Ethiopia has opened access to 264 blocked websites/bloggers/ ESAT and OMN. A free flow of information is essential for engaged & responsible citizenry. Only a free market of ideas will lead to the truth.
— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) June 22, 2018
“Enabling Ethiopians to access these media is a positive sign that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has pledged to keep his promise to end the Ethiopian censorship of the independent press,” said Angela Quintal, Africa Program Coordinator.
“We call on the Prime Minister to change laws that restrict freedom of expression and end a surveillance system that has long been used to intimidate journalists,” she added