Sources indicate that the journalist has left the country as the result of the deteriorating press freedom in the country and fearing the possible measure the government could take against journalists and members the newly established journalist association, Ethiopian Journalists Forum(EJF). Particularly, the propaganda in state owned and government affiliated medias, which was indicating that the authorities were working to arrest additional journalists and bloggers and leadership of the new association has been the immediate cause of his flee.
As it is known that only in a recent crackdown only 3 journalists and 6 bloggers has been jailed. And one additional journalist was detained for 4 days and was released. In addition to Tesema, Journalist and bloggers as well as the president of Ethiopian Journalist Forum, Betre Yacob has recently fled the country fearing for his life. The house of Betre Yacob was reportedly searched by governemnt security and his documents were taken.
The name of Betre Yacob had been mentioned frequently as a terrorist at stated owned medias; he also used to be accused of working for outlawed organizations and international human right institutions such as Article 19, CPJ, human Right Wach and others. Many claim that Betre was experiencing several grave problems particularly after he became the president of the association. He was believed to be the master mind of the association, and its foreign relation.
Tesema Desalgn was the founder and member of Ethiopian journalists Forum. The association has been reportedly under government attack since its inception. Reports indicats that the association has been denied a license and Betre´s leadership was pushing the government to register it.
Beside Tesema and Betre, other known journalists have been fled the country only in the past 6 months, and it increased the number of those fled the country since 2005.
Reports indicates that Tesema used to receive a phone warnings and the same was happening to his journalists including the editor in Chife Bisrat W/Micheal. According to reports, nobody currently knows about the situation of these journalists who are in exile, and many are expressing their concerns about the safety of the journalists.
Posted by: Kumilachew Gebremeskel Ambo