The sudden death in August 2012 of Ethiopia’s long-serving and powerful prime minister, Meles Zenawi, provoked uncertainty over the country’s political transition, both domestically and among Ethiopia’s international partners. Ethiopia’s human rights record has sharply deteriorated, especially over the past few years, and although a new prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, took office in September, it remains to be seen whether the government under his leadership will undertake human rights reforms.
Ethiopian authorities continued to severely restrict basic rights of freedom of expression, association, and assembly in 2012. Thirty journalists and opposition members were convicted under the country’s vague Anti-Terrorism Proclamation of 2009.The security forces responded to protests by the Muslim community in Oromia and Continue reading
(Nairobi) – The Ethiopian government should mark World Press Freedom Day, on May 3, 2013, by immediately releasing all journalists jailed under the country’s deeply flawed anti-terrorism law. On May 2, 2013, the Supreme Court upheld an 18-year sentence under the anti-terrorism law for Eskinder Nega Fenta, a journalist and blogger who received the 2012 PEN Freedom to Write Award.
Eleven journalists have been convicted and sentenced since 2011 under Ethiopia’s repressive anti-terrorism law, including six in absentia. Three of the eleven are currently in prison. Two other journalists are currently on trial under the anti-terrorism law. Another journalist, Temesgen Desalegn, the editor of the now defunct independent magazine Feteh, is on trial for three offenses under the criminal code.
“Ethiopia’s journalists shouldn’t be spending World Press Freedom Day in jail on trumped-up terrorism Continue reading
(Washington, DC) – The World Bank’s board should support an internal investigation into allegations of abuse linked to a World Bank project in Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch said today.
The Inspection Panel, the World Bank’s independent accountability mechanism, has recommended aninvestigation into whether it has violated its policies in a project linked to the Ethiopian government’s resettlement program, known as “villagization.” Villagization involves the forced relocation of some 1.5 million Ethiopians, including indigenous and other marginalized peoples, and has been marred by violence. The board is scheduled to meet on March 19, 2013, to consider the Inspection Panel’s recommendation.
“The World Bank’s president and board need to let the Inspection Panel do its job and answer the critical questions that have been raised by Ethiopians affected by this project,” said Jessica Evans, senior international financial institutions advocate at Human Rights Watch. “If the World Bank doesn’t support this investigation, its Ethiopia program will continue to be shadowed by controversy.” Continue reading