Ethiopia


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Ethiopia Human Rights

Human Rights Concerns

In November of 2005, Ethiopian police killed 6 and wounded as many as 24 civilians in a march protesting the recently released election results. There have been numerous reports of government opponents being taken from their homes in the aftermath of this incident. There have also been reports of widespread arbitrary detention, torture, "disappearances", harsh prison conditions, and use of excessive force by police and soldiers against anyone suspected of supporting the armed opposition groups. No one responsible for a 2003 killing that left 63 Anuak people dead (witnesses and unofficial estimates put the number at several hundred) has been brought to justice.

On November 7th, 2005, police brought to court 24 opposition leaders and others who were arrested in Addis Ababa on 1 November following street demonstrations that erupted into four days of violence when police started shooting. At least 46 protesters were killed in Addis Ababa and other towns, and at least 4,000 were arrested. The detainees include Hailu Shawel, aged 70, president of the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy party; Professor Mesfin Woldemariam, 75, former chair of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council; Dr Yacob Hailemariam, a former UN Special Envoy and former prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; Ms Birtukan Mideksa, CUD vice-president and a former judge; and Dr Berhanu Negga, the recently elected Mayor of Addis Ababa and university professor of economics.

The court ordered them to be detained for a further 14 days (with the next hearing set for November 21st) for police investigations into suspected violent conspiracy, although no one yet has been formally charged with any offense. The 24, who had been kept incommunicado, are said to be held at the police Central Investigation Bureau (known as Maikelawi) in Addis Ababa. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said that these detainees are likely to be charged with treason, which carries a possible death penalty.

Food scarcity continues to affect as many as 7 million people in Ethiopia. A government plan that aims to resettle 2.2 million people has been remiss in its duties to provide humane conditions at the resettlement camps– malnutrition, high child mortality, and poor health facilities remain a problem.

Forced early marriage of girls and female genital mutilation are still common, though AI salutes the women's groups that have begun to convene to address these things.

Ethiopia Newsroom



February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 18, 2016 • Press Release

Your rights in jeopardy, global assault on freedoms, warns Amnesty International

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

January 14, 2016 • Press Release

Ethiopia: Civil society groups urge the international community to address killing of Oromo protesters

Amnesty International, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, and the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (DefendDefenders) urge Ethiopia’s development and international partners to address the killing of at least 140 protesters in the Oromia region since December 2015.

December 16, 2015 • Press Release

Ethiopia: Anti-terror rhetoric will escalate brutal crackdown against Oromo protesters

Protesters have been labelled ‘terrorists’ by Ethiopian authorities in an attempt to violently suppress protests against potential land seizures, which have already resulted in 40 deaths, said Amnesty International.

July 9, 2015 • Press Release

Ethiopia: Free All Jailed Bloggers And Journalists Before Obama Visit

The Ethiopian government’s decision to release four journalists and two Zone 9 bloggers, jailed simply for expressing their views, is a positive move. But if this is to be more than a token gesture to clean up Ethiopia’s image ahead of US President Barack Obama’s imminent visit, Ethiopia must release all its imprisoned journalists and bloggers.

June 23, 2015 • Press Release

Amnesty International Asks Ethiopia to Investigate Suspicious Murders and Human Rights Violations

The suspicious murder of opposition leaders and wide-spread human rights violations against opposition party members over the past few weeks raises questions about Ethiopia’s elections, said Amnesty International as the parliamentary poll results were announced yesterday.

May 22, 2015 • Press Release

Ethiopia: Onslaught on human rights ahead of elections

The run-up to Ethiopia’s elections on Sunday has been marred by gross, systematic and wide-spread violations of ordinary Ethiopians’ human rights.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

May 20, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Ethiopia 2013

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Head of state Girma Wolde-Giorgis Head of government Hailemariam Desalegn (replaced Meles Zenawi) The state stifled freedom of expression, severely restricting the activities of the independent media, political opposition parties and human rights organizations. Dissent was not tolerated in any sphere. The authorities imprisoned actual and perceived opponents of the …

August 24, 2012 • Press Release

Detention of Editor in Ethiopia Signals Continuation of Meles-Era Crackdown

The detention yesterday of the editor of one of Ethiopia's last independent publications is a worrying signal that the government intends to carry on targeting dissent.

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