Core civic space freedoms under attack in Ethiopia
In the last 3 months, Ethiopia witnessed 63 protest hotspots in 2 regions. 15 hotspots were fatal. #EthiopiaProtests #OromoProtests— Argaw Ashine (@argawnmg) August 20, 2016
In early August demonstrations reignited in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Amhara regions and were brutally dispersed. The security forces used excessive force and fired live bullets into peaceful crowds, killing up to 100 protesters. Protests began in November 2015 and have so far resulted in approximately 500 deaths and the arrest of thousands of demonstrators calling for land reform and protesting against political and economic marginalisation.
Four members of local human rights group, Human Rights Council - Ethiopia, were reportedly detained while monitoring human rights violations during the recent protests.
On 9th July, just a few days after the United Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet, the Ethiopian government blocked access to social media for several days, allegedly to prevent students from being distracted while taking college entrance exams. During protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions the Internet was reportedly shut down for two days across much of the country, while mobile applications and social media were also blocked at various times.
Journalists are increasingly under attack, and at least nine have been arrested over the past two months. Among them was Muktar Nuh Ibrahim, a television reporter from Somaliland who was arrested and detained on 19th June along with four colleagues who were later released.
On 8th August, Ethiopian authorities arrested three journalists in the Shashemene area of the Oromo region. As denounced by the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Ethiopia, Africa News Agency correspondent Hadra Ahmed was arrested along with Public Broadcasting Services reporters Fred de Sam Lazaro and Thomas Adair. Their passports and equipment were confiscated and they were escorted back to Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia: Social Media, Whatsapp, Facebook Blocked https://t.co/ECkvwaiwqK #Africa— Geeska (@GeskaAfrika) August 9, 2016
Civic Space Developments