Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Publishers denounce Publishers denounce printers’ printers’ new draft contract as a passport to censorship

Private newspaper and magazine publishers have denounced the new contract which was circulated by printing companies saying it promoted censorship and went against the grain of the constitution and press freedom. Publishers have submitted their complaint to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the printers.   
After receiving the letter from the printers, the publishers held consecutive meetings to adopt a common stand against the contract. Such a contract was circulated by Berhanena Selam Printing Enterprise, Bole Printing House and others.
The main concern of the publishers is Article 10 of the contract which provides the following clause: ‘Declining to print content violating the law’
‘10.1. The printer has the right to refuse to print any written script that the publisher submitted for printing should it have adequate reason to judge that the script breaches the law.’
‘10.2. The printer reserves the right to terminate or cancel the contract at any time should it have adequate reason to judge that the publisher has a propensity to publish a content which entails liability.’
The publishers feel that this article is in disagreement with Article 29 of the FDRE Constitution which prohibits censorship in any form. Accordingly, they  condemned the printers’ action.   
The publishers were utterly disappointed by Berhanena Selam Printing Enterprise after it ignored a scheduled  meeting to discuss the matter and pressured them both through a letter and over the phone informing them that their publications would not be printed if they did not sign the contract.
The matter is still on hold and another meeting is scheduled between Berhanena Selam Printing Enterprise and the publishers on Monday May 7.
The publishers also decided to create a self-regulatory media council to monitor media activities. 
Publishers’ Committe  Press Release