Ethiopia bans Swedish state television: report

Sept 22, 2012 (The Local) – The website of Swedish state broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT) has been blocked in Ethiopia amid claims that the reason is their reporting of the case of journalists Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye.

According to sources contacted by SVT, the svt.se website has been down in the country since early on Saturday morning.

Persson and Schibbye were recently released from Ethiopian prison and SVT is among the news media which have reported on claims that evidence was falsified to secure their convictions on terror charges.

“Ethiopia is very uncomfortable with the information that we have broadcast. They know that we are going to produce more,” said reporter Johan Ripås to svt.se.

According to Mikael Hvinlund at SVT the cause of the interruption is under investigation.

“It is very regrettable if it is that they have shut down our site, that a country imposes such restrictions. We have had a comprehensive coverage and have strong sources, and they are obviously irritated by the publicity,” he told the TT news agency.

“If they have done so deliberately then it is a very serious and powerful signal.”

He confirmed that SVT were given no notice, and that it had come as a surprise.

“We are going to contact Ethiopia’s embassy in Sweden to seek an explanation for why they have done this.”

SVT are also busy investigating whether other Swedish news sites have also suffered the same fate.

“There are others also reporting so if there should be any point with it then they should close more Swedish sites,” he said.

The Local