Ethiopia ‘blocks’ Al Jazeera websites
Traffic to English and Arabic websites has plummeted since the network aired coverage of protests in August last year.
Al Jazeera’s English and Arabic websites are reported to have been blocked in Ethiopia, raising fresh fears that the government is continuing its efforts to silence the media.
Though the authorities in Addis Ababa have refused to comment on the reported censorship, Google Analytics data accessed by Al Jazeera shows that traffic from Ethiopia to the English website had plummeted from 50,000 hits in July 2012 to just 114 in September.
Traffic data revealed a similar drop for the Arabic website, with visits to the site dropping to 2 in September from 5,371 in July.
A blogger, who cannot be identified for his own safety, said Ethiopian censors had been targeting Al Jazeera since the Qatar-based network began airing coverage of ongoing protests against the way in which spiritual leaders are elected in the Horn of African nation.
The steep decline in web traffic began on August 2 last year, the same day that Al Jazeera Mubasher aired a forum with guests denouncing the government’s “interference” with Muslim religious affairs, and three days after Al Jazeera English published an article detailing deadly ethnic clashes between two of the country’s southern tribes.
Attempts by Al Jazeera to get an official response from authorities failed. Read More on Aljazeera.com