By Salvador Rodriguez
The Ethiopian government last month passed a law making it a crime for people to utilize audio or video communication using Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) services, which include Google Voice, Skype and essentially any other video chat service available.
So what’s the punishment? Well, the maximum penalty for breaking the law is 15 years in prison. That’s right — a decade and a half.
But the law isn’t that surprising when you put it in context. Read more…
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June 16, 2012 (CPJ) – On Wednesday, the same day the White House announced a strategic plan committing the United States to elevating its efforts in “challenging leaders whose actions threaten the credibility of democratic processes” in sub-Saharan Africa, a senior member of the U.S. Congress challenged the erosion of press freedom in a key U.S. strategic partner in the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia.
Underscoring the importance of Ethiopia as an important partner for the United States in containing terrorism and ending poverty and famine in the region, Senator Patrick Leahy, a democrat from Vermont, published on Thursday a statement in The Congressional Record, the official daily journal of U.S. Congress, in which he condemned the assault on the freedom of the Ethiopian press under Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. The senator argued that success for the Obama administration’s new partnership with Meles on food security depends on “broad national consultation, transparency, and accountability,” values, he said, that “depend in no small part on a free press.” Read more…
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