Ethiopia: The Curtailment of Rights

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With the legacy of the Derg behind it, the EPRDF proclaimed, as it instituted a four-year transitional period (1991-1995), its commitment to democratization and respect for the rule of law and pledged to establish human rights in the country. The transitional legislature ratified the major international human rights treaties. The constitution of today's Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia offers detailed basic human rights guarantees and provides for the incorporation into domestic laws of all the human rights treaties to which Ethiopia is party. New laws were enacted that guarantee the respect of human rights and civil liberties, institute the independence of the judiciary and the press, and provide for multipartyism and free universal suffrage, theoretically allowing the convening of competitive elections for the first time in the country's history.

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