• The death in August 2012 of Ethiopia’s powerful prime minister, Meles Zenawi, led to new leadership but seems unlikely to result in tangible human rights reforms. Ethiopian authorities continue to severely restrict freedom of expression, association, and assembly. Thirty journalists and opposition members have been convicted under the country’s vague Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, and security forces responded to protests by Muslim communities with excessive force and arbitrary detentions. The Ethiopian government continues to forcibly resettle hundreds of thousands of rural villagers, including indigenous peoples, as part of its “villagization” program, relocating them through violence and intimidation, and often without essential services.

  • Newspaper readers at Arat Kilo, a square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    The Ethiopian government’s systematic repression of independent media has created a bleak landscape for free expression ahead of the May 2015 general elections, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. In the past year, six privately owned publications closed after government harassment; at least 22 journalists, bloggers, and publishers were criminally charged, and more than 30 journalists fled the country in fear of being arrested under repressive laws.

Reports

Ethiopia

  • Feb 23, 2015
    The World Bank should fully address serious human rights issues raised by the bank’s internal investigation into a project in Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the bank’s vice president for Africa. The bank’s response to the investigation findings attempts to distance the bank from the many problems confirmed by the investigation and should be revised. The World Bank board of directors is to consider the investigation report and management’s response, which includes an Action Plan, on February 26, 2015.
  • Feb 18, 2015
  • Jan 29, 2015
    The Ethiopian government during 2014 intensified its campaign of arrests, prosecutions, and unlawful force to silence criticism, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. The government responded to peaceful protests with harassment, threats, and arbitrary detention, and used draconian laws to further repress journalists, opposition activists, and critics.
  • Jan 21, 2015
    The Ethiopian government’s systematic repression of independent media has created a bleak landscape for free expression ahead of the May 2015 general elections, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. In the past year, six privately owned publications closed after government harassment; at least 22 journalists, bloggers, and publishers were criminally charged, and more than 30 journalists fled the country in fear of being arrested under repressive laws.
  • Dec 1, 2014
  • Nov 17, 2014
  • Sep 19, 2014
    We welcome Ethiopia’s stated commitment to rights-based development and the government’s important efforts to improve respect for the rights of women, children, persons with disabilities, and migrant workers, as well as its longstanding support for up to 500,000 refugees. However, the Human Rights Council’s review of Ethiopia comes at a time of increasing concern about the rights situation in the country.
  • Sep 8, 2014
    Governments are primarily responsible for protecting human rights but when they fail the UN and its member states must act decisively and unequivocally to prevent abuse.
  • Aug 4, 2014
    Three notorious African leaders -- Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Eritrea's Isaias Afewerki, and Sudan's Omar al-Bashir -- are not invited to this week's U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. But a number of other long-ruling African strongmen, like Angola's José Eduardo dos Santos, Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, will be there. In fact, over a dozen African countries which will be represented at the summit boast disturbing human rights records of ruthlessly suppressing freedom of expression and freedom of association through harassment, arrest, torture, and trumped up charges and killings.
  • Jul 30, 2014
    The emerging Brics economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – struck an agreement this month to establish a development bank with an initial capital of $100bn. The Brics want the bank to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects. From the outset, it should adopt open and transparent processes, and environmental and social rules, that are the best in the business. It should help communities become involved in the development of projects, invest in schemes that communities actually want, and ensure that its investments benefit the most marginalised people.