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Journalist Eskinder Nega expresses concern for the free press in Ethiopia

Ethiopia had been considered as one of the worst countries for journalists under the rule of EPRDF. The country was one of the most censored countries in the world and one of the worst jailers of journalists in sub-Saharan Africa. After Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came into power in April 2018, the conditions for journalists has changed immensely. According to CPJ's (Community to Protect Journalists), Ethiopia had no detained journalists by the end of 2018. Ethiopia also ranked the 110th country, improving from the previous 150th rank, by the Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index. However, the reform hasn't guaranteed the safety of journalists from attacks, temporary detainments, and harassments. 

The newfound freedom also came with its challenges. Ethiopia is seeing a boom in fake news and hate speeches that are stirring the country into a slippery slope. The proclamation draft the government proposed to curb hate speech and fakes news as a remedy started its own controversy.  In addition to this, many journalists are facing dangers in pursuing their jobs. The recent controversial incident that questioned press freedom in Ethiopia was when Eskinder Negas press conferences had to be canceled due to interruptions from the authorities. In the press conference, he was finally able to hold, Eskinder Nega discusses his concerns about press freedom in Ethiopia. 


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