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Ethiopia: Security Forces Kill Dozens of Protestors, Block Social Media
In response to Ethiopian security forces killing dozens of protesters in the Amhara and Oromia regions during protests on August 6-7, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The government of Ethiopia should immediately end its murderous violence targeting citizens demanding equitable distribution of resources and open government,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs. “Authorities should respect citizens’ constitutional right to peacefully assemble and express their views, and should meet their demands for greater democracy.”
Ethiopia security forces have detained thousands of demonstrators and killed hundreds of citizens in the clashes that occured between November 2015 and July 2016, in response to protests in Oromia that began late last year. In July 2016, the protests spread to the Amhara region, where dozens of protestors have died.
Detailed, independently-verified information remains difficult to obtain due to the government’s suppression of independent media and rights monitoring groups. In recent days, the government blocked social media message applications, including Facebook, Twitter, Viber and WhatsApp.
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.