Security forces in Angola attacked journalists at an anti-government protest on Saturday. Voice of America‘s Alexandre Neto claimed that he was pushed to the floor by police and unidentified men in plain clothes, who then seized his backpack carrying his mobile phone, camera, passport and driver’s license, none of which have been returned. Security agents also attacked Portuguese journalist António Cascais who was in Angola conducting journalism training, on his way to the protest. Several other journalists, including those from state broadcasters from Portugal and Angola, were attacked during the demonstration.
Armando José Chicoca, a freelance journalist, has been given a one year prison sentence and fined US $2,100 for reporting on sexual harassment allegations against a top judicial official. His report, aired on Voice of America, included references to allegations about Antonio Vissandula, the highest judge in the province of Namibe.
The Ethiopian government has been accused of blocking the website of US broadcaster Voice of America (VOA) as a row over press intimidation continues to escalate in the Horn of Africa. Residents of the capital Addis Ababa have been unable to access the site since early on Sunday, reports Reuters. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s administration has yet to comment on the development. Earlier this month, the government accused the VOA radio service of broadcasting propaganda and revealed that it was testing its ability to jam transmissions. Meles even compared the station to Radio Mille Collines, whose broadcasts were blamed for sparking the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Voice of America’s (VOA) Amharic-language radio broadcasts have been blocked in Ethiopia. The Washington-based broadcaster has been informed by monitors that its news service in the East African state has been electronically-jammed, although it has not yet been able to identify the source. Ethiopia is preparing for a crucial parliament vote on 23 May and officials have described VOA as the “voice of the opposition”. The Ethiopian Communications Office has, however, denied any involvement.