Ethiopia: Police Open Fire on Protesters
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.”
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.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.