Ethiopian government under the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Hailemariam Desalenge, spent a great deal of money to jam Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT).
As well millions of dollars was spent as a payout to a software company to spy on ESAT journalists as part of crackdown on freedom of expression.
In fact, the above measures were taken in addition to administrative and legal measures to designate US based Ethiopian Satellite Television as an outlawed one.
It means that the journalists were unable to return to Ethiopia to visit their country of birth and/or relatives.
Ethiopia has been undertaking political reforms for nearly a year now and the changes are visible. Among many others things is not just that ESAT team, who were mostly designated as terrorists, have returned home after years in exile, but also a high ranking government official was at the airport to greet them up on arrival.
Hirut Kassahun, Minister of Culture and Tourism, told the journalists that ESAT deserves credit for contributing its part in the struggle for change in Ethiopia.
She also told ESAT journalists to also play a role in promoting forgiveness and tolerance among Ethiopians, reported ESAT DC.
After the reception ceremony at Bole International Airport, ESAT journalists met with Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen who reportedly discussed the challenges and opportunities of political change in Ethiopia.
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