By Tamiru Ayele,
ETHIOPIAN journalist and former CPJ “press freedom hero” have accused the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) as being one of the tools for imposing “Western hegemonic ambition”.
Dawit Kebede, managing editor of Awramba Times, who was one of the four recipients of CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award in 2010, launched the scathing attack against CPJ and leading international human rights groups in a recent interview with ETV, the state-run television.
He claimed that organizations such as CPJ, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Oakland Institute and the International Crisis Group are tools of advancing Western hegemony.
“These organizations are part of an overall allegiance to control the world under one single ideology,” he said.
“I do not endorse or reject these organizations 100 percent. But whether we like it or not, they have their own agenda,” he adds.
He alleged that these advocacy groups exaggerate small incidents and try to put enormous pressure on countries where there are ideological deviations and political economic differences with the United States.
According to this former “press freedom hero”, CPJ and other human rights organizations and their reports are tainted with ideological prejudice.
“These institutions have their own agenda and it is intimately related with their survival. As I said earlier, it is related with the desire to impose Western hegemonic ambition on the rest of the world by attacking those countries that do not follow their ideological lines,” he said.
He also asserted that the annual U.S. State Department report on human rights is nothing but a summary of reports published by these Western think tanks and human rights groups that have vested ideological interests.
But Dawit further stated that the reports published by these international advocacy groups have little impact except being used for the benefit of those who tend to use them for propaganda outputs.
In his acceptance speech at the CPJ press freedom awarding ceremony held in New York in 2010, Dawit had vowed that he would give his whole life for press freedom and would never be intimidated by dictators or their agents.
“My country receives millions of American taxpayer dollars to fight terrorism in the Horn of Africa, but under our anti-terrorism law, I risk 25 years in prison if I interview certain opposition politicians,” Dawit had told the CPJ gathering in New York.
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Until recently, Dawit Kebede was receiving a substantial amount of money from CPJ, Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in the name of promoting press freedom in Ethiopia. Fellow Ethiopian journalists in the diaspora have already called Dawit Kebede as an opportunist who have no qualm to bite the fingers that fed him.
Whatever the reason behind his fallout with CPJ is, Dawit Kebede has finally spoken the truth and exposed these agents of doom though they once honored and defended him – not because they care about him, of course. Truth shall make one free.
We shall persevere until those who have coerced us into persevering can no longer persevere.