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Eritrean state media journalist goes missing-RSF

By Staff
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Google Oneindia News

NAIROBI, Aug 13 (Reuters) An international press watchdog said today an Eritrean state media journalist had gone missing while trying to flee to neighbouring Ethiopia and was believed to be in prison.

Johnny Hisabu, an editor for state-owned Eri-TV, set off for Ethiopia in late May, and unconfirmed reports say he was arrested and put in prison, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said.

''Forced to function as a cog in the official propaganda machine, Johnny was one of the hundreds of Eritreans who each month try to flee the hell on earth created by one of the world's most authoritarian regimes,'' the media freedom organisation said.

''The regime's only reaction to this exodus, which includes journalists and media technicians, is more cruelty and intolerance,'' it said in its ninth statement against Eritrea this year.

Asmara routinely denies criticism from foreign-based rights groups, accusing them of acting on behalf of some world powers.

Information Minister Ali Abdu Ahmed says the government will not respond to ''each stupid comment'' by groups such as RSF.

With no independent media and frequent accusations of harassment of journalists, Eritrea is consistently ranked among the world's top violators of press freedom by rights groups.

Reuters SKB DB1927

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