Deutsche Welle protests against immense obstructions to reporting in Ethiopia

Government in Addis Ababa retracts work permits of two DW employees

defaultJoachim Lenz, programme director

“The action of the Ethiopian government, which retracted the work permits of two Deutsche Welle journalists on Tuesday, 7 June, is unacceptable for Germany’s international broadcaster. It is a flagrant violation of freedom of speech and of the press,” declared programme director of Deutsche Welle, Joachim Lenz, on Wednesday in Bonn.

He continued by stating that such “immense intimidation of our colleagues, who have lost their livelihood, contradicts all the rules of democracy, which the Ethiopian government claims to adhere to as well.” During the greatest unrest in the eastern African country for four years, the Ministry of Information justified the work ban on DW correspondent Assegdech Yiberta and her colleague Tadesse Engidaw with “inaccurate reporting.” Both journalists work for the Amharic Service of DW-RADIO.

“The action of the Ethiopian government is another example of the systematic pressure the political leadership puts on independent journalists,” added Lenz. He also pointed out that even before the parliamentary elections on 15 May 2005, DW employee Tekle Yewhala was prohibited from reporting.

8 June 2005