Amnesty International outraged over Ethiopia’s decision to ban protests against ethnically motivated killings

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Ethiopian authorities have banned peaceful protests against ethnically motivated killings which were due to take place on October 28, in direct violation of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

The National Amhara Movement (NAMA), an opposition political party, had called for protests following the killing of scores of people from the Amhara ethnic minority in recent months. Officials of NAMA were on October 27 prevented by the police from accessing their party office in Addis Ababa, and from traveling to the various locations where the protests were to take place in the Amhara regional state.  

There has been a surge of deadly ethnic violence targeting Amharas in various parts of the country, including in Benishangul, Oromia and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples regional states.

“The killings are abhorrent and serve as a clarion call to the Ethiopian authorities to safeguard the right to life. People have a right to protest and call for justice for the lives lost. The authorities must ensure security forces are deployed to facilitate and manage the protests whenever they may occur, not to disperse or otherwise inhibit protesters,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.

According to the Ethiopian government, at least 45 people were in September, killed by groups of armed youths targeting Amharas in Benishangul. In October there were 31 more killings in the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) in such attacks.

“The authorities must not only thoroughly, effectively and impartially investigate all the killings and hold those responsible to account, but also put in place measures to ensure protests take place peacefully,” said Deprose Muchena.

In Oromia, at least 160 people were killed in June, including dozens of members of ethnic and religious minority groups, according to the Federal Police, following the violence that erupted after the killing of popular Oromo musician Hachalu Hundessa. Although some of the protests were peaceful, others turned violent as organized youth attacked members of ethnic and religious minorities.

And since August, Ethiopian security forces have used excessive force to disperse peaceful protesters calling for the release of detained opposition leaders Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba, killing at least 20 people in Oromia’s West Hararghe and Bale Zones.

“People have a right to protest to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. They should not be killed, injured or arrested simply for expressing their views but instead they should be able to count on the protection of the authorities in exercising their right to peaceful assembly,” said Deprose Muchena.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Only imndependent invedstigation led by Amnesty & HRW can confirm not only the agwents and victims both in number & social origin; unbtill then, it is wrong to blame ‘youths’, ‘ethnic’ etc.

  2. Those extremist forces of Oromo origin including some inside the government of Abiy Ahmed are responsible for the continues ethnic cleansing of Amaras and other minority groups who leave in Oromia. If this continues without unabated, the violence will expand to other part of the country threatening the integrity of the nation. The one and only way out of this quagmire is to do away with ethnic homeland-based federalism and replace it with equitable reginal based federalism that considers all citizens equal.

  3. Independent investigations must conducted into these killings before running to blaming the people living with Amharas for thousands of years, in the regions mentioned in this report. Most of these killings has been instigated by the ruling regime and its supporters to blackmail the federation and self administration rights of the nations and nationalities in the empire.

  4. I cannot believe they talk about Amhara being killed when everyday 10 to 20 people are killed in by Abiy’s force in Wallega and southern Oromia. Please be honest and tell the truth as is rather than following Abysinian shared and false cry. How about Gumeze people, Wolo Oromo, Walayita people etc. Amnesty International should not lose its credibility but tell the truth.

  5. Most [if not all] violences were government motivated. This has been done since 1991 where OLF and TPLF members tried in Bedeno.

  6. Really, in Ethiopia, the killers are supporting by ruling party. Dozens of Amhara ethnic group are killed in different parts of the country. The government ban peaceful demonstration. Abiy Ahmed Ali’s government neither protect the people nor catching the armed forces of OLF. There is a suspicious OLF armed forces are supporting by government.

  7. BOTH OLF AND ABIY GOVERNMENT ARE EXTRIMIST ORMOS DRINKING AMHARA BLOOD?? THE ONLY QUARREL BETWEEN THEM IS THE THRONE!!JUSTICE FOR AMHARA !!

  8. The Amhara people have been slaughtered by both Abiy supporters and non supporters extrimist ormos!!when Abiy came to power mosltly all Ethnic group supported him because he spoke of unity….then why only Amhara’s and Christians (which the extrimists believe is Amhara s religion) being slaughtered???.the genocide is being done by extrimist oromos which Abiy recruited as the state policemen !! Both Abiy and olf/ oromo extrimist militias are Amhara haters and blood drinkers. Please refer to all articles written since 30 years ago also picture evidences. You will see olf flag proudly displayed on their outfits.Abiy admin did notvtry toboreventvthis instead he covers his soldiers crime!! Ergobabiy is extrimist promo!!!The time will come for justice to be served

  9. For Ethiopia it’s better to use article 39 now. Cause amhara politician n opposite party even individually they want Oromo ppl to leave the whole Oromia n go to Madagascar. Instead off fight for amhara ppl, they fight Oromo who fight for his democracy n freedom to survive on my farm, don’t kick me from my only farm land, don’t rape our women. Since 1991 tplf party used OPDO to genocide amhara live in gqramulata n record video they taking dead out of mountain n claimed it Oromo liberation front n now Abiy using it by sending military without uniform as grouped n blaim Oromo, they believe. they can’t tell u or show u that Oromo they said killed amhara. Why? Cause those military are not resident n move part to part to jus commit crime n go. They get promote by unelected leader Abiy. We are two different ppl live together n we both have different history. Amhara had chance to side at least Oromo ppl n bring us together but they rather continue support Abiy making it look like ethnic problem. So he can kill enough Oromo. We Oromo don’t end by genocide, soon u start genocide us, we multiple. Oromo raise their kids to not walk on ants on ground n watch out for their life cause nobody have right to take no soul to kill.

  10. There is no doubt that it is a coordinated act violence against Amhara and Orthodox Christians by the government and the Oromo extremists both ethnic and religious. They work in tandem to establish their dominance by committing Genocide on Amhara ethnic groups which represents either the majority or proportional to the Oromo in number. We, the people of Ethiopia both in diaspora and in Ethiopia have been criticizing the Ethnic cleansing and try to alert the international community another Rwanda’s 🇷🇼 atrocities is unfolding in Ethiopia against the majority Orthodox Christians specifically and Amhara ethnically, but the world turn their face despite our outcry. Thank you Amnesty’s for rising the issue and we need more action from the international community to Ban Oromo Extremists outlets who preached Genocide on a daily bases and to bring the perpetrators including the Prime Minister of Ethiopia to Justice either for his inaction or for abiding the genocide.

  11. Completly false Abiy is playing with 2 cards PP & NAMA. But they are trying to decive international community. Thier Goal is to silence & kill Oromo as worled observing what is going on Oromo people actually. They are the 2 face of one coin.

  12. State sponsorde groups are still killing the Amharans people. We are crying day and night due to mass killing of our people. And still no response on the side of the government. Surprisinglly we are unable to excersice our freedom of expresion to the world!

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