Thursday, May 3, 2012

Eritrea Most-Censored Country For Press | Africa | World | Epoch Times

Eritrea Ambassador to the African Union, Girma Asmerom, listens as Secretary of U.S. State Hillary Clinton addresses the African Union at the African Union Commission headquarters on June 13, 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images)
Eritrea Ambassador to the African Union, Girma Asmerom, listens as Secretary of U.S. State Hillary Clinton addresses the African Union at the African Union Commission headquarters on June 13, 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images)
Eritrea, the East African nation which borders Ethiopia, was called the most censored country in the world by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) watchdog group.
“No foreign reporters are granted access to Eritrea, and all domestic media are controlled by the government,” the group said.
The country’s ministry of information gives orders for what should and should not be covered in the small country of 5.8 million.
“Every time [a journalist] had to write a story, they arrange for interview subjects and tell you specific angles you have to write on,” an exiled Eritrean journalist, who was not named, told the watchdog group. “We usually wrote lots about the president so that he’s always in the limelight.”
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Until last year, North Korea had been the most-censored country in the world, for several years. The Committee said it moved the isolated, communist country to second place because it allowed The Associated Press to open a bureau in Pyongyang.
“Issues with vast worldwide implications—including North Korea’s long-standing bid to build nuclear weapons and its new political power structure—remain hidden beneath severe censorship,” it said.
Syria, ranked number three on the list, has ramped up censorship amid the Arab Spring-inspired protests.
“The censorship of the media existed far before the revolution, but it has increased since because [President Bashar] al-Assad wants to convey a particular picture to the outside world that the regime is fighting off terrorists who are causing the unrest,” Eiad Shurbaji, an exiled Syrian journalist, told the watchdog.
“Another tenet of Syria’s propaganda was that minorities would be at risk without the regime,” he added. “Media censorship played a huge role in keeping Assad in power.”
China, which was unranked by the CPJ, is the most-populous country that has strict censorship laws, according to a recent Freedom House report on freedom of the press around the world.
“Beijing is also a model for censorship regimes elsewhere and an exporter of censorship technology, including to several countries in CPJ’s top 10,” the Committee sai

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