Ethiopia Undermines Financial Support for Human Rights Groups
In response to Ethiopian security forces disrupting a fundraising event by the country’s most prominent human rights organization, the Human Rights Council (HRCO), Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Authorities’ interference with HRCO’s otherwise orderly event shows the government’s utter disregard for the constitutionally guaranteed right to free assembly,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs. “The government blocking of local fundraising while also effectively barring foreign financial support is part of a campaign to prevent human rights groups from monitoring government actions.”
On October 23, police and plainclothes security personnel broke up a fundraising event that was organized by HRCO to mark the organization’s 25th year anniversary. HRCO officials had requested and were given permission by authorities to hold the event. Police briefly detained three HRCO officials including the executive director, releasing them after issuing a warning not to criticize the government.
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.