Deutsche Welle journalists have permits revoked
8 June 2005
ADDIS ABABA – Deutsche Welle journalists in Ethiopia have had their permits revoked as violent projests against alleged election fraud continue.
At least 22 people were killed and many more injured on Wednesday when Ethiopian police opened fire on stone- throwing youths in parts of Addis Ababa, hospital sources said.
Witnesses earlier reported fierce battles between police and protesters, and areas were cordoned to be patrolled by troops with armoured vehicles.
Around 500 students have been arrested over the past three days in protests and class boycotts which spread from Addis Ababa to Gulale on Tuesday.
Witnesses also report that police have also beaten unarmed students.
The violence escalated on Wednesday as students armed with stones and wooden-staves attempted to disrupt the services of regular and additional buses the Addis Ababa City Government had deployed in the wake of a strike by taxi drivers in sympathy with the students.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Federal Police in Addis Ababa again blamed the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), one of the leading opposition parties, for instigating the strike by small and communal taxis in the city, as it had done in previous student agitations over the outcome of the 15 May elections.
The government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, which also blamed the political opposition for triggering the disturbances, forbade public assembly after the elections to prevent unrest.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia revoked the working permits of five local journalists as protests continue over the country’s general election results, the official Ethiopian News Agency said on Wednesday.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Information targeted radio journalists at the Voice of America and Bonn-based Deutsche Welle for what it called “false and unbalanced reports” on last month’s elections.
Deutsche Welle protested what it called an attack on press freedom.
“We are outraged, and we will not stand for it,” said the German organisation’s programme director, Joachim Lenz.
International observers, while criticising irregularities during last month’s elections, expressed satisfaction in the overall process.
Human rights groups accuse the government of systematic repression, including using torture.
Official election results of the national and regional elections are due 8 July. The government banned public gatherings the day after the election to maintain public security.
Subject: German news