(Bloomberg) — Hundreds of opponents of Ethiopia’s government have been beaten and arrested in a government crackdown following this week’s national elections, a leader of the opposition Medrek alliance said.
“My members are really being hunted down,” Merara Gudina, a leader of the Oromo wing of the Medrek alliance, said in a mobile-phone interview today. He blamed security, police and militia loyal to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for the attacks.
“Two opposition members have been shot to death and six others wounded by bullets from security officials since Saturday as part of a widening crackdown,” Merara said.
Communications Minister Bereket Simon told reporters in the capital, Addis Ababa, that one of those killed, in the central town of Ginchi, died after opposition supporters tried to storm a polling station to steal a ballot box. He declined to comment on claims that opposition members are being targeted.
Meles’s Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front won at least 98 percent of the seats in the country’s 547-seat parliament in the May 23 elections, the National Electoral Board said yesterday. Tens of thousands of ruling party supporters gathered in the streets of Addis Ababa yesterday to protest against criticism of the vote by human-rights activists.