Ethiopia: Press Freedom

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 29th September 2022.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the government of Ethiopia on press freedom in Ethiopia in the context of the continued arrests of journalists in that country.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK has long supported media freedoms, both at home and in supporting the development of a strong and independent media in countries overseas. The UK opposes all attempts by any state to restrict press freedom, silence debate, abuse journalists, or spread misinformation.

The UK has consistently called for an end to infringements on media freedom - journalists must have the right to report freely.

The former Minister for Africa raised the issue of large-scale detentions in Ethiopia with Minister for Justice Gedion on 20 January, and subsequently wrote to him regarding arrests of journalists and the recent expulsion of a British journalist. The British Embassy in Addis Ababa tweeted on 18 May urging the Government of Ethiopia to protect and uphold media freedom. The UK funds a number of programmes that aim to build the capacity of the media in Ethiopia, including PRIMED, which is delivered by a consortium led by BBC Media Action. Ethiopia is the lead country for the FCDO's Media Freedom Chevening Fellowship and the UK is a member of the Media Freedom Coalition for Ethiopia.

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