Bilise Kena, a journalist at the Oromia Radio & Television Organization (ORTO) owned by the Oromia regional state has been dismissed on 9 January from her job. There reason for her dismissal is unclear, but her colleagues believe that it has connection with the current Oromo Protests in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.
The day before her dismissal, there was a meeting of journalists and management of ORTO on about how to produce propaganda to quell the Oromo Protestsagainst the expansion of Addis Abeba to Oromo region evicting more than two millions of Oromo farmers. On that meeting Bilise was not impressed with that idea and bravely spoke against it saying that as journalists are not supposed to fabricate false information about an issue that hundreds of people are dying for.
The next day she came to her job, she was prevented not to enter the ORTO’s compound by the guards. Nobody told her why she was dismissed. She was just told to go away. This kind of event is not new to ORTO. In 2014, 20 journalists were dismissed from their job for they refused to be manipulated by the government cadres, and most recently in December 2015, in connection with the Oromo protests, seventeen journalists were fired while one of them, Fikadu Mirkana, an anchor of Oromia TV was arrested and he is still in prison.