- Amnesty International, CPJ, RSF et all
- United States of America
This millennium petition is inspired by the unity of Ethiopians following the massacre of 65 Ethiopians by the ONLF rebels and by our courage to face numerous other rebels who are ready to massacre Ethiopians instead of joining the peaceful opposition parties inside the current Ethiopian parliament.
This petition is motivated by a dwindling but surviving hope that international watch dogs are able to one day re-evaluate what role they are playing in the progress of democracy and freedom of press in Ethiopia.
We, the undersigned, call on international free press and media watch dogs to restore their will and dedication, to use all that is at their disposal and never settle for mediocrity during their advocacy work to improve the free media in Ethiopia.
Before you read on the rest of this petition, contemplate these questions:
- Do you know that the US state department does not tag an armed group with the “international Terrorist organization” label unless the group affects America?
- Thus, do you know that financiers of terrorist groups who have massacred hundreds of Ethiopians manage to live freely in your American and European neighborhoods without facing any charges?
- Do you know that Amnesty International, RSF and CPJ are the number one, two and three quoted sources for exiled financiers of African insurgents?
- As the result, do you know that Diaspora supporters of these insurgent groups use such sources like CPJ to validate more killing; by declaring as their policy that the alleged injustice written by CPJ et al can be solved only by violently overthrowing Ethiopian governments?
Dear concerned organizations, in light of this new Ethiopia millennium, we Ethiopians ask you to reflect on the successes and mistakes you have made in observing the freedom of expression in Ethiopia so that you can help our country move forward instead of backward.
Here are some of the long lists of events that have deeply troubled us.
For instance, many Ethiopians have been disturbed that:
• All arrested members of the illegal militant OLF & ONLF organizations are tagged “prisoners of conscience” by Amnesty International.
• Pro-militia foreign based websites like Ethiopian Review have been supported by CPJ and other watch dogs.
• Various media watch dogs supported blogs and websites like Seminawork (EthioZagol) and Ethiopia Review even after provocations by the Ethiozagol blog led to a violent riot this year and documented accounts of the infamous Ethiopia Review website’s call for more bloodshed continued to pile up since 2006.
• Despite some foreign based media sources asking for assassinations of ministers like the Deputy PM Addissu and for blowing up of businesses in Ethiopia, these websites and editors remain supported by Amnesty and CPJ.
• Despite Ethiopia Review, EthioForum, Abugida and other Diaspora websites publicly congratulating the massacre done by ONLF militia this year, various media watchdogs continued to condemn the government for attempting to block these websites. Check this news report as an example http://www.africanpath.com/p_blogEntry.cfm?blogID=75&blogEntryID=704
NOTICABLE TENDENIES AS RESULT OF MISTAKES BY MEDIA WATCHDOGS
• By supporting foreign based media sources that promote violence, the true definition of an opposition party is increasingly becoming an armed and violent movement instead of a peaceful one.
• By emboldening media outlets of exiled politicians who finance insurgents in Ethiopia, such pro-violent groups are finding themselves validated by western institutions like Amnesty and CPJ.
• By focusing and by standing up only for pro-violent blocked media outlets, peacefully critical and vastly independent media sources in Ethiopia are increasingly being marginalized and seen as less important for the development of free press & media in Ethiopia.
BASIC FACTS ABOUT ETHIOPIA
-- According to reports even from the opposition party CUD members, there are dozens of written press, independent newspapers mainly for Ethiopia’s urban. A large percentage of them still function after the post election unrest in 2005.
-- According to opposition parties in parliament like ONC, there are also some newspapers in Ethiopia written in diverse (non-Amharic) languages.
-- According to UN refugee reports in Kenya & others, due to journalism being tagged as tough job in Ethiopia, economic asylum seekers are growingly exploiting the journalism card as a means to be accepted after leaving Ethiopia for better economic opportunity.
-- According to reports by BBC, two private radios recently received licenses to function in Ethiopia and more are underway. In addition to these, some of the independent Ethiopian media sources (also online) coming from Ethiopia include www.addistribune.com , www.ethiopianreporter.com , www.theafricamonitor.com , www.ssinformer.com , www.jimmatimes.com , www.capitalethiopia.com , www.addisadmass.com etc. In total, these independent online news media outlets give Ethiopia one of the largest in Africa.
In general, it is important to remember that the last 12 years were
• the FIRST time that free press arrived in Ethiopia
• the FIRST time for private radios to get a license in Ethiopia
• the FIRST time for independent media sources, including online, to function from Ethiopia.
We, Diaspora Ethiopians, ask you to support and encourage the recent progresses made in Ethiopia and at the same time criticize valid problems that exist in Ethiopia after careful consideration of the issues, instead of stunting such progress by emboldening pro-violent groups who want to disguise themselves under the labels media and journalism.
We, Diaspora Ethiopians, give these recommendations for international observers of the press and media in Ethiopia:
1- Identify the difference between a critic and an armed militia
2- Identify the difference between a critic and a ‘pro-armed militia’ media outlet
3- Identify the difference between an opposition party in parliament and an armed militia in the battlefield.
4- Be informed of the most basic and simplest aspects of the politics in Ethiopia so that you won’t unintentionally advocate the freedom of speech for Ethiopia’s Al-Qaeda that just finished its latest successful massacre.
5- Thus identify the difference between the media outlet of peaceful opposition parties in parliament and the media outlet of an armed militia in the battlefield.
6- Be aware of the relationship between poverty, economic asylum and journalism.
7- Be concerned about past deaths and massacres caused by warmongering and pro-violent media sources covering Ethiopia, particularly outlets run by exiled politicians turned journalists.
8- Set up an independent Ethiopian observer committee so that any reports of abuse you get from the government, from the peaceful opposition and from the armed opposition can be FULLY verified and so that the tools that enable you to weight in and comprehend all developments are readily accessible.
The Call to promote free press and media development in Ethiopia petition to Amnesty International, CPJ, RSF et all was written by Efrem and is in the category International Affairs at GoPetition.