Amnesty condemns Ethiopia’s crack down on opposition supporters under Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Abiy Ahmed

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Amnesty International condemned on Monday the return of mass arrests of opposition activists and supporters in Ethiopia, warning that it was a worrying signal in the East African nation whose Prime Minister won the Nobel Peace Prize late last year.

Amnesty said it had confirmed that at least 75 supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) were arrested over the weekend from various places in different parts of Oromia Regional State, as Ethiopian authorities intensify the crackdown on dissenting political views ahead of the general elections.

“These sweeping arrests risk undermining the rights to freedom of expression and association ahead of the 2020 elections,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.

According to Amnesty, the arrests took place across the state including in Finchawa town in West Guji Zone of Oromia, and Shambu town in Horo-Guduru Wallaga Zone of Oromia.

Chaltu Takele, a prominent political activist was arrested when police broke into her parents’ home in Shambu town, Horo-Guduru Wellaga at 5 a.m. on 26 January and arrested her. She remained detained at the Shambu Police Station on Monday.

Chaltu Takele spent more than eight years in prison between 2008 and 2016 after being accused of being a member of the Oromo Liberation Front, which the Ethiopian government had listed as a “terrorist organization”. The Ethiopian Parliament delisted OLF and other political opposition groups from being proscribed terrorist groups in 2018. Chaltu was also arrested and briefly detained in 2017, and again 2019 while she was pregnant.

The weekend arrests are the latest in a long line of mass arrests of opposition activists. The Ethiopian police and military have been rounding up people for “rehabilitation training” since February 2019. After spending time in various military and police detention centres, most were released between September and November 2019.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. GOD knows the truth. We Oromo’s are suffering we have been killed tortured prisoned by Pm Abiy Government …..Down Down Pm Abiy…

  2. Amensty please help …..Abiy is killing thousands of Oromo’s everyday …..He need to be removed from his power and pay for his crime.

  3. The protestors he was locking up are the Muslim extremist that were butchering people in streets. Abiy is doing a great job and think its shameful on amnesty part.

  4. This organization and its supporters have been engaged in terrorizing the nation and the government is taking the right decision. Amnesty need to stop this kind of biased accusation on the Ethiopian government who has been reluctant to take any action against this terrorist group. Currently, many innocent students from the Amhara region are abducted by the same group. Are you saying that the government of Ethiopia shouldnt do anything according to the law to protect the security of the people. Everybody in Ethiopia, except the sympathers of this terrorist organization, are asking for a serious asking on this terrorist group (OLF).

  5. Amnesty International is playing a dangerous game of misinformation about the reality in Ethiopia. The OLF’s armed faction led by the terrorist Jal Maro refused the Government’s amnesty and the unprecedented call for all opposition groups to join the peaceful transition to democracy led by Nobel Laureate PM Abiy Ahmed. Once loathed Oromo leaders like Daoud returned, registered OLF as a contending party for the next elections. Even the American citizen Jawar Mohamed, owner of OMN media that incites Oromos to ethnic violence against Amhara enjoys VIP treatment while he openly accuses the PM of all evils. This is the political landscape that Oromos have used and abused in the past 2 years. Oromo youth groups financed by American citizen Jawar have killed Amhara University students, burned churches and mosques to foment religious violence and called for ethnic cleansing of Oromia with their slogan “Ethiopia our of Oromia”.
    You can’t say the same freedom of expression applied to Amhara opposition and journalist Eskender Negga’s social movement.
    Things escalated with the abduction of Amhara students fleeing ethnic violence in Dembidolo University. Armed Oromo gangs operating in Western Welega have taken them hostage for 55 days. No wonder the Government cracked down on terrorist groups in Welega. No wonder Amharas protested in mass against the abduction and disappearance of the Amhara students, most of them young girls. No wonder Oromo activists are concerned about their terrorist ally Jal Maro who is trapped in Welega by the mighty Ethiopian Army. Where was Amnesty International when 85 innocent Ethiopians were murdered by Jawar’s order because he was scared to loose his VIP escort! Where was Amnesty when Oromo mercenaries paid by Jawar and his illicit funds were roaming the country on trucks, slaughtering innocent Amharas and Orthodox Christians including priests were burned alive and chopped with machettes and nailed sticks. No wonder Jawar, Jal Maro and Oromo extremists and terrorists feel the heat of their own fire. Yesterday Amharas demonstrated their strength and unity in their unprecedented rallies across the entire Amhara region. They protested against ethnic violence and the abduction of the students by Oromo factions but they also protested against the deafening silence of the Government. This is a strong, determined and irreversible movement of outrage and no Amnesty biased reporting and condemnation on behalf of Oromo extremists will conceal the truth. If you want to honor the respect you have earned as the global advocate for human rights, please check your facts or just stay out of Ethiopia because what you just reported is untrue and dangerous. We don’t need Amnesty to add fuel to the fire. We want peace in Ethiopia.

  6. The current so called prime minister, his party and the rest of the Oromo political parties are committing genocide in Ethiopia especially on the people of Amhara. University students are being kidnapped by an Oromo muslim fundamentalist groups. What a pitty Amnesty international is siding with criminals!!!

  7. The current prime minister Abiy Ahemed and all the Oromo political parties are commiting genocide in Ethiopia especially on the people of Amhara. What a pitty Amnesty international is siding with criminals!!!

  8. What the hell , they kidnapped Students
    What the government supposed to do.
    Where is amnesty when the government
    Shut down the Peaceful non Oromo opposition
    The Oromo opposition are criminals.

  9. To say the fact, it is the first time in Ethiopia to have a really true democratic ruler in the history of the Country.
    But, what still Amnesty International have to know is that no any country in the world with free of a pity problem that challenging life in the time of transition or in the time of reform. That is why some pity problems face Ethiopia at this critical time.
    In addition to what I mentioned above, there are also other problems that know challenging our hero PRIME MINISTER Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali at the moment. That is
    1/ Those who are with their own motive to onhold power to for their own personal or private interest instead to run after the interest of the people like PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed
    2/ The change that earlier created in Ethiopia after the fall of TPLF are only by the efforts of some specific individuals such as PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the Minister of defence Lema Megersa, the Minister of Agriculture Oumer Hussein, the Minister of security w/o Adanech Abebe, and some others effort that tried to bring the existed democratic change and other economic reforms.
    Thus, no one can condomned our hero PM Dr. Abiy ahmed.

  10. Thank you Amenstry. This is a critical time again in Ethiopia. More than half of the country is under command post or out side the rule of the current governemt.

  11. ትናት በዛ መንግስት ዛሬ ደግሞ በዚህ መንግስት ስትነግዱብን አትኖሩም:: እንደናነት አይነት ጠንቅነው ሀግራችንን የሚበጠብጠን
    Shut the fuck up

  12. No mention of what is going on in Welega and if she is related to the terrorist OLF faction or the OLF faction led by Dawud that is participating in the election.

  13. How much money do you get paid to write this? Or it’s just given to you? You have no idea about the story you are writing. You are corrupt mercenaries for money in the name of “journalism”. Where did you get this fake news? Who paid you? Where is the original Amnesty International report? Is that bought and paid for too? Try to understand what goes on in Ethiopia before you write an unsubstantiated story. African corruption doesn’t work here in the US and you can be challenged by the relevant authorities if you can’t keep your corrupt hands out.

  14. It is deeply saddened to the #nternational_Communities for keeping silence about what has been going on #Western_and_Southern_Oromia. The 2019 Nobel peace prize winner PM Abiyyi has committing #Ethnic_Cleasing on the Oromia nation.He cutoff internet and phone services for the last one month to hide his genocide from the International communities.

  15. it is really painful that Amnesty remains indefferent before the injustice being carriedout in western Oromia this week. If you are committed to rescue the endangered children and women trapped in the war in thousands, please try to observe what is going on in West Oromia, which deliberately made inaccessible to the international community.

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