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In response to reports that Abel Wabella, a defendant in the Zone 9 blogger case in Ethiopia, was kept shackled overnight and had his hearing aid removed following a February 4 court appearance, Fr

African heads of state recently gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, for the 24th summit of the African Union. While discussions focused on high-profile continental crises such as the Boko Haram insurgency and the Ebola epidemic, an important phenomenon was, unsurprisingly, left off the agenda: the deteriorating situation for political and civil liberties in much of East Africa.

Today an Ethiopian court decided to recognize formal charges against the Zone Nine bloggers and journalists, who have been imprisoned for nine months. 

In response to today's court decision to drop the Criminal Code charges and amend the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) charges against the Zone Nine bloggers and journalists, Freedom House issued the following statement.



Senior Director for Program Strategy, Development and Learning and Director for Central, East and West Africa Programs

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Special Reports

Citizens' Perception Toward Civil Society: Ethiopia

The environment for civil society in Ethiopia is among the most restrictive in the world. The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has overseen a continuous crackdown on opposition, independent media, and civil society. As the EPRDF marks 25 years in power, civil society groups struggle to maintain operations and keep their doors open.

Freedom in Sub-Saharan Africa 2007

Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.


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