By Simegnish(Lily) Mengesha
Ethiopia’s 2005 election was the most contested ever and the government alleged journalists and editors were part of a conspiracy to overthrow the government. This left the free press, which was slowly expanding for the first time since the ruling party took power in 1991, under attack. The government started taking repressive measures against freedom of expression and association.
I joined the media sector during this time, when access to information was growing more restrictive. More than half of print publications were closed; journalists were getting harassed and prosecuted. Most websites with Ethiopian content operated by the diaspora population started getting blocked. The government also jammed satellite radio and television stations. Right after the 2005 election, the government also blocked text messaging on mobile phones, a state of affairs that continued until 2007. Read more