Voice of America, the official radio outlet of the United States, says that its Amharic language signal to Ethiopia has been blocked “by an unknown source” since February 22. But obviously it’s the corrupt and repressive government of Meles Zenawi that is behind the jamming.
“We have added another frequency, 9700 in the 31-meter band, in the hope that you will receive an uncensored source of Ethiopia news,” the VOA release says. ” Please pass this new frequency along to your friends in Ethiopia.” The service streams a one hour show to Ethiopia each day at 1800 to 1900 UTC/GMT.
BBC News reports that Ethiopian Prime Minister Zenawi admits his government has been blocking the signal, citing the service’s “destabilizing propaganda,” which he compared to the Rwandan broadcasts of the mid-1990s that encouraged that country’s terrible genocide. It’s a ridiculous charge, and a pathetic response to international concerns that open civil society in Ethiopia has been all but shut down.
Zenawi also insisted that his government won’t release opposition leader and democracy advocate Birtukan Mideska from prison. A former judge and political candidate, Mideska is serving a life term for publicly protesting Ethiopia’s controversial election of 2005. She was released after being imprisoned for 18 months, but re-arrested, apparently for being insufficiently apologetic for her alleged “crimes.”
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