Stop hate speech, not free speech
Recent articles in Ethiopia
A man reads a newspaper with a story on Abiy Ahmed, newly elected leader of Ethiopia's ruling coalition, in Addis Ababa, 28 March 2018, ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER/AFP/Getty Images

Though the Ethiopian press is much freer today than before Abiy took power, CPJ spoke to over a dozen journalists and rights defenders who said that challenges remain, including the risk of attack and arrest, and a proposed law that could curtail their newly found freedoms.

Supporters of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attend a rally on Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, 23 June 2018, YONAS TADESSE/AFP/Getty Images

Significant progress has been made on media freedom in Ethiopia, though there’s still a reluctance to critique the government or ask difficult questions. Hate speech on social media is a serious and growing problem, although the government’s proposed hate speech law raises concerns it may be used to stifle legitimate expressions of dissent.

Journalist Eskinder Nega (C) gestures after being released from Kaliti Prison in Addis Ababa, 14 February 2018; Nega was subsequently re-arrested by Ethiopian authorities, YONAS TADESSE/AFP/Getty Images

In just one month after declaring a state of emergency in the country – the second in two years – Ethiopian authorities arrested 5 journalists, all of whom have been imprisoned before.