Ethiopia Reiterates its Commitment to Freedom of Expression and Press Freedom

Freedom of expression and the protection of press freedom are sacred values that are enshrined in the Ethiopian constitution. This government is deeply committed to these values. It is a commitment proven by its actions. One of the first acts the government took was the freeing of journalists and political prisoners from jail. A series of reforms have been implemented over the last three years to expand the space for the free exchange of ideas. A lot of restrictions and obstacles that were in place for years have been completely removed or reformed to give better access to information for journalists, both for foreign and national.

There are 35 foreign news organizations represented by 129 permanent resident correspondents licensed to work in the Country. Even in the midst of the law enforcement operation in the Tigray Region, more than 82 foreign journalists from various countries have been given access to the area with temporary permit as well.

However, it should also be noted that such respect to universal values need to be reciprocated. We expect professional reporting that lives up to the standards of journalistic ethics. We expect international norms of conflict sensitive reporting to be observed by journalists. Access in areas where there is an ongoing military operation is necessarily and obviously limited, as would be the case anywhere in the world. We expect foreign correspondents to observe the terms and conditions of their permits and above all abide by the law of the land. When violations of law occur, we have a duty to enforce the law like any other government in the world.

Within these parameters that follow international practice, we will continue to cooperate and give as much access as practically possible. Again, we would like to reiterate our commitment to press freedom. The country and our offices will remain open to all journalists that want to report in good faith.

May 24, 2021

Ethiopian Media Authority

Addis Ababa

I AM PROUD TO BE ETHIOPIAN ! ኢትዮጵያዊ በመሆኔ እኮራለሁ !Human Rights Activist and Mereja Media Online Journalist and Blogger.