Ethiopia state of emergency arrests top 11,607 – Al Jazeera

Some 11,607 people, including 347 women, arrested since state of emergency announced last month following protests.  Al Jarzeera reports

Authorities have arrested more than 11,000 people since Ethiopia declared a state of emergency early last month amid violent protests.

A majority of the arrests were made in the Oromo and Amhara regions – the centre of demonstrations and home to two ethnic groups that make up about 60 percent of the country’s population.

“Some 11,607 individuals have so far been detained in six prisons, of which 347 are female, in connection with the state of emergency declared in the country,” official Taddesse Hordofa said in a televised statement on Saturday.

More than 500 people have been killed in unrest since last year, rights groups say, triggered initially by anger over a development scheme for the capital, Addis Ababa, which demonstrators said would force farmers off their land in the surrounding Oromo region.

The protests evolved into broader demonstrations over politics and human rights and led to attacks on businesses, many of them foreign-owned, prompting the government to declare a six-month nationwide state of emergency on October 9.

Mobile internet service and access to social media are blocked in the capital as part of the measures.

The emergency decree included restrictions on opposition party activity, curfews and a ban on diplomats travelling more than 40 kilometres outside the capital without authorisation. On Tuesday, the country lifted travel restrictions imposed on diplomats, Reuters news agency reported.

Hordofa reeled off a long list of offences ranging from serious crimes such as “attacking security forces using firearms” or “killing civilians and members of security forces” to the much more mundane “denying provision of public services” and “disrupting movement of vehicles”.

This figure is a huge increase to the 2,500 arrests that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s government had announced at the end of October.

On October 31, Defence Minister Siraj Fegessa announced that 2,000 people who had participated in protests had been released, although Saturday’s announcement included no details on how many of the 11,000 remain in prison.

A man attends a prayer session and candle ceremony for protesters who died in the town of Bishoftu a week ago [Reuters]

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Posted by on November 13, 2016. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Ethiopia state of emergency arrests top 11,607 – Al Jazeera

  1. Rahmi

    November 15, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    Ethiopia got so many Universities. For some reason Addis Ababa University was known to be a politically more active community throughout history way more than other universities in the country.That’s why most graduates were and still are given more respect to bring solutuion to the societal , political and economical problems Ethiopia faces. Hoping to get a solution from those so called Educated elites of Addis Ababa university that graduated within the last twenty years or so is a mistake because of all Universities Addis Ababa University was given large dose of Woyane disease meaning it was contaminated way more than other Universities with the Woyane disease. Right now it seems things are changing because the current Addis Ababa University students searched amomg the alumini’s but found almost noone worthy of being a role model among the alumini’s that graduated in the last twenty years . The majority of Addis Ababa University alumini’s who graduated in the last 20 years or so are entangled with TPLF’s corrupt system.Sadly the rest of the country still looks upto these corrupt institutions alumini’s to bring solution not knowing these people are the problem. Whether they work for the government or even donot have a set job Addis Ababa Alumini’s that graduated in the last twenty years are all directly or indirectly responsible for the problem the country is in now. I know all these because I went to the Addis Ababa University and I know it from inside. It took rigorous examination and study to reach at this conclusion.I still keep close ties with most of the people and to be frank it is quiet disgraceful what we knowingly or unknowingly became part of so I advise all young and upcoming Ethiopians not to follow our example because it is inevitable you will get infected with the Woyane disease if you do.I think the day rthat all of us face justice is not far and I am williong to expose all details with evidence even if it means implicating myself in the process.