From Nov. 3-6, 2013, the International Press Institute (IPI) and the World Association of Newspapers (WAN-IFRA) carried out a joint fact-finding mission to Ethiopia, where five journalists have been imprisoned since 2011 and numerous others have been tried in absentia under the country’s anti-terrorism law.
The joint mission met with editors, journalists, lawyers, politicians and bloggers as well as associates of the imprisoned journalists to discuss the media climate in the country. The delegation also held meetings with diplomats and Redwan Hussien, the government spokesman who engaged in a frank, two-hour discussion with IPI and representatives of another organisation, the African Media Initiative.
The WAN-IFRA/IPI fact-finding mission represented a rare opportunity for two of the world’s leading press freedom and publishing organisations to get firsthand information and question journalists and other stakeholders. It also gave the delegation the opportunity to learn of the challenges journalists and publishers face, including self-censorship, restrictions on foreign media ownership and the dominant position played by state-run radio and television