May 10, 2005

Suppressing Dissent

Human Rights Abuses and Political Repression in Ethiopia's Oromia Region

Summary
Recommendations
To the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Regional Government of Oromia State
To International Election Observers
To Donor Governments
To the World Bank and United Nations Agencies Involved in Development in Ethiopia
Introduction
Political Competition in Oromia
Historical Background
Ethiopia and Oromia under EPRDF Rule
The Oromo Liberation Front
The Struggle for Political Control in Oromia during the Transition
The May 2005 Elections
Government Use of Torture, Arbitrary Detention, Surveillance and Harassment to Discourage and Punish Dissent
Arbitrary Detention and Torture
Arbitrary Detention
Prolonged Arbitrary Detention of High-Profile Oromo Defendants
Torture and Other Mistreatment
Continuing Harassment of Targeted Individuals
Targeting Oromo Students for Harassment and Abuse
Pressuring Teachers to Monitor Students for Subversive Speech
The Chilling Effect of Government Abuse on the Freedom of Expression
Mechanisms Used by the Ethiopian Government to Control Rural Communities in Oromia
The Kebele System...
The Gott and Garee System...
The Imposition of Gott and Garee on Rural Communities
Forced Labor under the Garee
Forced Attendance at Political Meetings
Using the Garee to Monitor Speech
The Chilling Effect of the Gott and Garee System on Speech
Restrictions on the Freedom of Movement
The International Response and Official Reactions of the Ethiopian Government to Criticism about its Human Rights Record
Acknowledgements