The Dissident Blog

PRESS RELEASE May3, 2019

The new issue of The Dissident Blog focus on the newly won freedom of expression in Ethiopia

#29 The Unsung Heroes of Ethiopia  http://www.dissidentblog.org

In less than a year Ethiopia has gone from being one of the world’s most repressive countries to being an open andmore democratic one. Since April 2018 when Abiy Ahmed became the new prime minister the country has rapidly moved in a democratic direction. It is no exaggeration to say that the changes within the country during this past year constitute a historical leap in favour of democracy and the freedom of expression in Ethiopia.

Here we have collected voices, thoughts, and narratives about what is happening in Ethiopia at present, texts by some of the writers, poets, and journalists who for years have been silenced by the regime. What do these overwhelming changes entail for the writers and journalists in the country? What does this newly won freedom of expression actually mean? What are the challenges now? How does one skirt the censorship that has informed the country for so long?

Elnaz Baghlanian, editor-in-chief for The Dissident Blog, writes in her editorial:
“In The Dissident Blog we usually publish texts that, due to censorship, threat, a risk of imprisonment, or at worst death cannot be published within a country. In this current issue we instead want to provide a space for writers whose professional life has been shaped by resistance and severe infringement on their rights of expression, but who now have been given this freedom again. To follow up, to take part in, to monitor the freedom of expression, and to never take it for granted is another role and function of The Dissident Blog.”

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