By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The Ethiopian Media Council (EMC) asked the government to follow up the robbery crimes perpetrated against media houses and make the outcome public. The Council said that the robbery against the media office properties and equipment by unidentified bodies in an organised and coordinated manner has become an issue of concern.
The Ethiopian Media Council said in a statement it issued last Friday, 21 July 2023 that the media institutions have been robbed of their office properties including professional equipment they are using to disseminate information. This has repeatedly occurred by unidentified individuals, the statement indicated.
Ethiopia Insider reported quoting the Council that four media houses were robbed of their properties over the last six months. Arat Kilo Media, Ethio-251 Media, and Yeneta Tube were among those which have fallen victim to the robbery. Similarly, Ethiopia Standard, a Web Media, was robbed of its office properties last week, according to the statement issued by EMC.
A coffer of Haq Media and Communication, managed by “Ethiopia Insider”, was broken and properties were ransacked by unknown bodies, according to an official announcement released on 17 July 2023 by the media house. Three new and modern digital cameras, two zoom lenses, and other four ordinary lenses, four laptop computers, and a smart cell phone are among the robbed materials, the media house said.
The Ethiopian Media Council said in its statement that such kind of repeated robbery had its focus on selected media houses and equipment without gates broken. The fact that the crimes were committed in an organised and coordinated manner by unidentified people, made the issue a serious one. The recurrence of the robbery has aroused doubt that the act is probably not done by ordinary robbers, the Council said.
Though the robbery of the media equipment was reported to the concerned police, nothing has been known about the investigation process being carried out on individuals involved in the act, the statement indicates. The Council said that the investigation undertaken after the robbery and the process carried out to bring the culprits before courts are very slow. This has made the journalists not to do their work freely and it narrows the press arena, the Council said.
The Council further said that the government, which is responsible to prevent and investigate crimes thereby ensuring accountability, should also stand guard for the mass media. It also asked the government to fulfil its constitutional responsibilities by immediately following up the cases and making public the outcome.
The robbery committed against Ethiopia Insider was also raised in a statement released by CPJ on 20 July 2923. CPJ Representative for Sub-Saharan African Countries, Mutoki Mumo said that the robbery committed against the critic and independent media, Ethiopia Insider, would bring about serious impact on its work.
Mutoki said the police should investigate this incident “in a transparent manner”. He pointed out that the police should identify why the robbery was committed and hold the perpetrators accountable.
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