Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Crackdown on Dissent Intensifies

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Six More Activists Arrested under Abusive Anti-Terrorism Law

September 16, 2011

(London) – The Ethiopian government should end its widening crackdown against opposition politicians and dissidents, Human Rights Watch said today. In the past week, three well-known critics of the government – actor Debebe Eshetu, journalist Eskinder Nega, and opposition party leader Andualem Aragie – were arrested in Addis Ababa. Three other opposition party members were also detained.

Security forces arrested Eskinder, who is well-known in Ethiopia for his critical commentary, on the afternoon of September 14, while picking up his child from school. Andualem, vice chairman of the opposition party Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) and executive committee member of Medrek, the largest opposition coalition, was arrested around the same time on his way to the UDJ offices. On September 8, the government also arrested the popular actor Eshetu for his alleged involvement in Ginbot 7, a banned opposition group.

“The recent spate of arrests points to a broadening crackdown against dissent by the Ethiopian authorities,” said Rona Peligal, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The detention of Debebe Eshetu, Eskinder Nega, and Andualem Aragie is just the latest reminder that it is very dangerous to criticize the government in Ethiopia.”

Read the full report @ Human Rights Watch.org

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