IFJ 2001: 19. Attacks on Press Freedom and Journalists’ Rights in Ethiopia

19. Attacks on Press Freedom and Journalists’ Rights in Ethiopia

Proposed: Ethiopian Free Journalists’ Association (EFJA)

The 24th IFJ Congress, meeting in Seoul on June 11th to June 15th, 2001

Condemning the routine and violent suppression and systematic destruction of the free and independent press;

Condemning the current imprisonment of two journalists in Ethiopia;

Reiterating that prison sentences are not acceptable punishment for ethical breaches and

press offences;

Noting that the Ethiopian constitution guarantees freedom of the press,

CALLS on the IFJ Executive Committee to:

1. Organise in co-operation with international media and human rights organisations, to obtain a condemnation of the Ethiopian authorities’ actions against the press from the United Nations Commission on Human Rights;

2. Call on the European Union, the governments of the EU and the United States and other international donor organizations to make their financial and other assistance and cooperation with the Ethiopian government conditional upon genuine respect for journalists’ rights and freedom of expression;

3. Call on the Ethiopian authorities to:

· Immediately and unconditionally release all journalists in detention;

· Relax repressive measures taken against publication and distribution of newspapers;

· Repeal the Press Law of 1992.

4. Send a mission to Ethiopia.