Prior to the May 2015 elections, Ethiopia’s government silenced dissent. Authorities use arbitrary arrests and politically motivated prosecutions to silence journalists, bloggers, protesters, and perceived supporters of opposition political parties. Security forces respond to peaceful protests with excessive force, and detainees routinely allege torture and ill-treatment. Repressive legislation restricting nongovernmental activity in violation of international standards remains in place. The government has not adequately investigated allegations of abuses associated with its “villagization program,” or the development of  sugar plantations in the Lower Omo Valley affecting 200,000 indigenous people, both of which benefitted directly or indirectly from donor assistance.