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United States Condemns Ethiopia's Jamming of VOA

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The United States has condemned Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles' decision to jam

Voice of America's Amharic Service and condemns his comparison of their programming

to Radio Mille Collines of Rwanda.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the US department of state in

Washington, DC.
''Comparing a respected and professional news service to a group that called for

genocide in Rwanda is a baseless and inflammatory accusation that seeks only to

deflect attention away from the core issue,'' said the statement.

Part of the statement reads
''The Prime Minister may disagree with news carried in Voice of America's Amharic

Service broadcasts; however, a decision to jam VOA broadcasts contradicts the

Government of Ethiopia's frequent public commitments to freedom of the press. We note

that the Ethiopian Constitution states that all citizens have the right to freedom of

expression “without any interference” and that this right shall include freedom to seek,

receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, “regardless of frontiers.”

'' The Constitution further notes that freedom of the press shall specifically include

“prohibition of any form of censorship.” We look to the Government of Ethiopia to abide

by its constitution.
''We call on the Ethiopian Government to protect the universal and fundamental right of

freedom of expression.''

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