Press release

Ethiopia: Police Open Fire on Protesters

Police opened fire on peaceful protesters in Oromia, Ethiopia, killing 14 and injuring several others.

Washington

In response to the ongoing protests in Ethiopia’s Oromia regional state and authorities's violent response, killing and injuring several peaceful protesters, Freedom House issued the following statement:

The authorities trying to forcibly stop protests in Oromia should remember that peaceful  assembly is guaranteed by Ethiopia’s  constitution," said Jenai Cox, senior Africa program manager. Firing live bullets to disburse peaceful protesters violates this right. The government of Ethiopia should conduct an inquiry into these police killings and bring those responsible to justice.”

Background:

Oromia is the largest regional state in Ethiopia. Students  and other residents across the region have staged peaceful rallies to object  to a government-proposed master plan that apparently calls for the expansion of Addis Ababa into the Oromia regional state, potentially evicting farmers. Activists report that 14 protesters have been killed by police and several others were injured.

Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2015