Ethiopia

Flawed elections and deterioration of media freedom

On 11th June 2021, ahead of the HRC47, a group of NGOs led by DefendDefenders wrote a letter urging the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution on the ongoing human rights crisis in Tigray, Ethiopia. The letter urged the HRC to “take urgent action to address the crisis and fulfil its mandate to address and prevent violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations and abuses, and to respond promptly to emergencies.”. On 21st June 2021, Ethiopia held its general elections amidst the conflict in Tigray and other regions including the Benishangul-Gumuz region. Officials announced that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had won 410 out of 436 seats on 10th July 2021. International observers and political opposition groups claimed the elections were undemocratic and unfair. On 26th June 2021, five opposition parties that took part in the election alleged that the ruling party had interfered with the general elections. The European Union did not send observers, and the United States criticised the electoral process, claiming it had too many obstacles for it to be perceived as credible. Multiple opposition parties boycotted the elections, as previously reported by the Monitor, and 18 percent of parliamentary seats from the Tigray, Somali, Harari, Afar,and Benishangul-Gumuz regions did not vote. Read more

Flawed elections and deterioration of media freedom

Crackdown On Journalists’ Reporting And Delayed Elections Amid Ongoing Conflict In Tigray

The ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Tigray remain alarming. However, since the last Monitor update, access to Tigray has improved. On 8th February, international aid workers were cleared to deploy in Tigray. They continue to face insecurity. On 15th March, Médecins Sans Frontières reported vandalism and looting of approximately 70% of the medical equipment in Tigray.
On 23rd March 2021, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed acknowledged that Eritrean troops entered Tigray during the conflict. He recognised the human rights atrocities that have been committed in Tigray, including rape, and promised to act against the perpetrators. On 25th March 2021, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) announced a joint investigation into violations and abuses, which was described “as part of the much-needed accountability process for the victims.”
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Crackdown On Journalists’ Reporting And Delayed Elections Amid Ongoing Conflict In Tigray

Safety Concerns For Journalists In Ethiopia, As More Are Arrested And One Killed

Widespread communication blackouts have continued in Ethiopia as the armed conflict in the Tigray region remains ongoing. The shutdown of the internet, messaging services and other forms of communication has made it increasingly difficult for people in Ethiopia and the Ethiopian diaspora to obtain reliable information on what is happening. This has resulted in misinformation spreading widely during the conflict. On 30th November 2020, police arrested Dawit Kebede, managing editor of the online news outlet Awramba Times. Kebede was presented before a court on 2nd December 2020, where he was accused of disseminating inaccurate information, inciting violence and attempting to violate the constitution. Kebede remained in prison at the time of writing. Read more

Safety Concerns For Journalists In Ethiopia, As More Are Arrested And One Killed

Mass arrests of journalists and safety concerns raised as armed conflict breaks out in Tigray region

The political situation in Ethiopia deteriorated rapidly in the latter quarter of 2020 as the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been engaged in armed conflict with the leading party in the Tigray region. Several violations, including of free expression, have been reported. Read more

Mass arrests of journalists and safety concerns raised as armed conflict breaks out in Tigray region

Arrests made in relation to killing of Oromo singer, key opposition figure faces terror charges

The Attorney General’s office announces that they had filed terror charges against Jawar Mohammed, a leading opposition leader, together with other activists; Renowned professor Mesfin Woldemariam, founder of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council and renowned human rights defender dies; Several killed and others injured in protests in Wolaita region; Journalists barred from travelling to cover regional elections; Separately, others re-arrested after being released on bail for alleged incitement to violence Read more

Arrests made in relation to killing of Oromo singer, key opposition figure faces terror charges

Hundreds dead after protests, fears over COVID-19 restrictions’ impact on free speech

Mass protests erupt over killing of popular musician Hachalu Hundessa; several leading opposition politicians were arrested in relation to the protests; reports made of COVID-19 restrictions being used to increasingly restrict free speech online. Read more

Hundreds dead after protests, fears over COVID-19 restrictions’ impact on free speech

Concern over crackdown on opposition and dissenters ahead of 2020 elections

Dozens of opposition supporters arrested, detained, New anti terrorrism law passes, government announces restoration of phone and internet services in parts of Oromia region after shut down in January 2020, protesters injured, one killed during protest by university students at Bule Hora University in Oromia Read more

Concern over crackdown on opposition and dissenters ahead of 2020 elections

Prime Minister Abiy Wins Nobel Peace Prize Amid Tensions

Prime minister Abiy win Nobel Peace prize, Ruling party coalition merges to form singular multi-ethnic party ahead of 2020 elections, HRDs form first HRDs coalition since draconian law and repressive governments between 2006-2018, Sidama people vote to create separate federal region. Read more

Prime Minister Abiy Wins Nobel Peace Prize Amid Tensions

Former Torture Centre Reopened to Public and Former Inmates

Maekelawi, the infamous police station in the heart of Addis Ababa, was opened for the first time to the public and former detainees, Ethiopia’s parliament passed a new election law ahead of elections scheduled for May 2020- opposition parties however said the changes make it more difficult for them, protests which began against prime minister Abiy Ahmed erupted into chaos and ethnic violence in Addis Ababa and the Oromia region leaving at least 78 people dead, 400 arrested, popular political satire show, Min Litazez was taken off the air. Read more

Former Torture Centre Reopened to Public and Former Inmates

Ethnic Clashes and Internet blackouts Continue Amid Abiy Government Reform Process

Human Rights NGO releases report examining the challenges faced by Ethiopian human rights defenders (HRDs) amid the ongoing reform process, religious leaders oppose travel by LGBTIQ tourist group as ethnic tensions continue amid reforms. Read more

Ethnic Clashes and Internet blackouts Continue Amid Abiy Government Reform Process