VOA Reporter out, FM broadcast halted
VOA’s Reporter Melescahew Amha is out on bail. He was granted bail on Friday after spending seventeen days in jail and posting 15,000 birr bail.
Melescahew who covers social, political and human rights issue for the VOA’s Amharic service was arrested on May 27, on charges of attempting to sell duty free equipments along with other six people, a charge, many feel, is bogus and an indictment to silence critical journalists.
It is not clear whether Melescahew would begin work soon or not but for now he seems pleased to join his family. After a few hours of his release, he was quoted as saying that he is happy to have been released but he shouldn’t have been detained in the first place.
The private and international media are under constant pressure from the government and many fears the continuous harassment would threaten the existence of independent media. Last week, the privately owned Sheger FM has been told to cut its broadcast of the Voice of America’s English language service. The local relay of the VOA was taken off over its coverage of Ethiopia.
VOA had an hour program every week days, which include African news and sport reports and Jazz America on Saturday morning.