The U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors has condemned Ethiopia's charges against five VOA journalists who have worked for the agency's Horn of Africa service.
The board said Wednesday the charges are "a blatant attempt to criminalize freedom of the press" and urged Ethiopian officials to drop them without delay.
It said the Ethiopian people deserve "unfettered access to accurate, balanced and comprehensive information," and noted VOA has provided them with that service for the past quarter-century -- and will continue to do so.
The five Ethiopian-born VOA journalists are among 129 people who face charges in Ethiopia stemming from deadly opposition-led riots last year. The VOA broadcasters are all U.S. citizens who work in Washington and have been charged in absentia.