Leadership: Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, in power since September 2012.
How censorship works: As Ethiopia prepared for its May 2015 elections, the state systematically cracked down on the country’s remaining independent publications through thearrests of journalists and intimidation of printing and distribution companies. Filing lawsuits against editors and forcing publishers to cease production have left only a handful of independent publications in a country of more than 90 million people. Ten independent journalists and bloggerswere imprisoned in 2014; authorities filed a lawsuit in Augustaccusing six publications of “encouraging terrorism,” forcing at least 16 journalists to flee into exile. There are no independent broadcasters, though broadcasts from the U.S.-based opposition Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) intermittently air within the country. The state-controlled telecommunications company Ethio Telecom is the sole Internet provider and routinely suspends critical news websites. International journalists work in Ethiopia, but many are under surveillance and face harassment. Although journalists have not had difficulties acquiring accreditation in the past, newer arrivals say that they face challenges.
Lowlight: Authorities in 2014 unleashed the largest onslaught against the press since a crackdown in 2005 after disputed parliamentary elections. Ten independent journalists and bloggers were arrested on anti-state charges, and at least eight independent publications were shut down.
Posted By: Kumilachew Gebremeskel Ambo