African media chiefs rap Ethiopia for crushing press

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  1. Africa's media, business and political leaders met this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  2. Given Ethiopia's status as Sub-Saharan Africa's second worst of jailer of journalists and premier censor of the internet, press freedom-or lack thereof-in the host country sparked intense debates online.
  3. The African media Leaders Forum is billed as Africa's largest gathering of media chiefs and news industry stakeholders.
  4. AMLF 2011 Scenes from Gammarth, Tunis
  5. The decision of the panafrican media development group African Media Initiative to hold the Forum in Addis Ababa originally drew intense criticism from the beleaguered independent Ethiopian media community.
  6. AMI defended its decision by arguing that "constructive engagement" with the government was the only way.
  7. Just days before conference, Ethiopian police'sdetention of two journalistsseemed to lend weight to critics' view that the venue was inappropriate for a media gathering.
  8. The international attention may have saved the journalists from spending two more weeks in custody - the standard period of itime that police and prosecutors typically request to pursue investigations
  9. Forum delegates also contended with the peculiarities of Ethiopia's censorship of the Internet



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