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Meles Zenawi Health Reports Blocked By Ethiopia Government

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Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi arrives at the State house in Nairobi on March 1, 2012, to witness the exchange of the signed agreement on development of a standard gauge railway network between Lamu port and Addis Ababa by Kenya' Minister for transport and his Ethiopian counterpart. (SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG -- A press freedom advocacy group says Ethiopian authorities have blocked the publication of a prominent independent newspaper featuring reports on the health of the country's long-time ruler.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday that about 30,000 copies of the independent weekly Feteh were blocked on grounds of "inciting national insecurity and endangering the government and the public."

Speculation about Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's health abounded last week after he missed an important regional summit for the first time since he assumed office in 1991. He is rumored to be undergoing treatment abroad, but his government said he was merely resting a few days after experiencing exhaustion.

CPJ said the ban "illustrates the depth of repression in Ethiopia today, and authorities' determination to suppress independent coverage of the prime minister."

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