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Ethiopian journalist raised concern about media freedom after receiving US recognition


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Concerning media freedom in her nation, which Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit, an Ethiopian journalist who received a prize from the United States has raised the alarm.

In recognition of International Women’s Day, Meaza Mohammed, the creator of the website network Roha TV, received a “International Women of Courage” award at the White House on Wednesday.

Meaza “shares stories of those who are often silenced,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said when introducing the woman.

She was detained three times in less than a year, but she persisted in speaking out for victims of gender-based violence and demanding justice for those who committed crimes against them, according to Jean-Pierre.

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Meaza claimed in an interview with AFP that authorities also searched her office and seized all of her belongings.

This honor means a lot to me, but it also means a lot to the women in my nation, she said.

Because running a media outlet or working in the press is extremely risky and challenging in my country.

Ethiopia has been unable to access websites like YouTube, Facebook, Telegram, and TikTok since February 9.

A dispute within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church sparked calls for protests against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, which led to the shutdown. The problem was fixed, but the websites are still offline.

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For the majority of the two-year conflict, Tigray’s northern region, which saw fighting with the federal government, was without telecommunications.

With plans to advance the peace process, Blinken is scheduled to make the highest-level US visit to Ethiopia since the war on Wednesday.

Meaza gained notoriety for her quest for information regarding the kidnapping of a group of students in late 2019 whose whereabouts are still unknown.

The students are Amhara, the second-largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, and Meaza has been accused in some circles of having a pro-Amhara bias in the ethnically diverse country where identity issues have grown more contentious.

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Meaza, who has long held privileged positions in Ethiopia’s economic, political, and cultural life, spoke out against “ethnic cleansing” against the Amhara to AFP in Washington.

The Fano, an Amhara militia, has also been charged with numerous wrongdoings.

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