Feb 24, 2006 (NAIROBI) — Ethiopian authorities have barred a British journalist who wrote a critical report on alleged human rights abuses, an international media watchdog reported.
Inigo Gilmore who writes for The Observer newspaper and contributes to the independent British television station Channel Four was told by Ethiopian authorities that he was unwelcome, despite an invitation to go get an official version to the alleged abuses, the Committee to Protect Journalists said late Thursday.
“Here was a reporter seeking to cover the crisis in Ethiopia thoroughly and fairly and the government’s response was to thwart his efforts so that the alarming events in Ethiopia can stay hidden from the rest of world,” said Ann Cooper, executive director of the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists.
Gilmore had reported on a crackdown on protests over the disputed May election results that returned Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to power. Ethiopia has jailed at least 17 journalists in the crackdown, according to CPJ.
Authorities had earlier expelled an Associated Press reporter who had worked in the country more than four years. Five U.S.-based Ethiopians working for the Voice of America have been charged in absentia with treason, attempted genocide and other charges related to the crackdown. Similar charges have been filed against 129 opposition leaders, local journalists and aid workers.