ethiopiantimes

June 26, 2012

Food without freedom: Anti-government activists in Ethiopia call on foreign governments to question their country’s human rights record.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi reads a joint declaration as the rest of the African leaders gather for a photo at the end of the summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation November 5, 2006 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Andrew Wong/Getty Images)

Ethiopia receives one of the highest amounts of foreign aid in the world. Much of that aid is food, but some human rights activists ask: what good is food, if you don’t have freedom?

Zenawi has been criticised for abusing anti-terrorism laws to prosecute members of political opposition and the media. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 11 journalists have been charged with terrorism and criminal suits since last year.

Now the government is discussing whether VOIP – or Voice over Internet Protocol – communications, like Skype, should be criminalised.

Many Ethiopian activists are calling on the international community to question the rights record of their country before sending aid. In this episode of The Stream, we speak to journalist Abebe Gellaw and Berhanu Nega, former mayor of Addis Ababa.

What do you think? What role should human rights play in supporting development aid? How much control should the government have over its telecommunications? Read More on ALJAZEERA

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