Ethiopia: Crackdown Intensified following the peaceful protests in Oromia region

Ethiopia Human Rights Project (EHRP) strongly condemns the killing of protesters in the hands of government security forces in different parts of Ethiopia’s Oromia region. EHRP urges the Ethiopian government to refrain from using force and to handle the matter in a manner that complies with national and international standards of freedom of association, assembly and expression and with utmost respect and protection from human lives. EHRP also calls on the government to conduct an independent inquiry into the killings, bodily injuries and bring those responsible for these violations to justice.
Background
Ethiopia’s already constrained political and civic space is facing further narrowing following the renewed crackdown on peaceful protesters participating in the demonstrations taking place across the Oromia region. In the last two weeks Ethiopian authorities harassed, beaten and killed student protesters in different towns of the region.
The Protest appears to be a follow up on last year’s demonstration opposing the “Integrated Addis Ababa and its surrounding Oromia special zone master plan” (commonly known as “Master Plan”). In April 2014 students protested the master plan calming that it will force farmers in the Oromia region to resettle without adequate compensation and would lead to the expansion of Addis Ababa to territory belonging to the Oromia. Those protests, mainly led by university students, ended in violence beating and the death of at least 17 students and the arrest of dozens of others in Ambo town and other parts of the region. Students arrested during those protests were charged under the country’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) and their cases are pending in court.
Earlier this week, to the protests against the master plan reignited with demonstrations taking place in different universities and schools across the region. The protests were met by severe beating, mass arrest and firing of live bullets by police. So far the government confirmed that three students have been killed while four additional killings and widespread mass arrests being reported by activists.

Picture credit social media
Picture credit social media

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