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Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Assembly Are in Danger by Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize PM!

Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Assembly Are in Danger by Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize PM!

Okeil: The Ethiopian government should abide by Articles 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights condemns the use of violence against peaceful demonstrators that has led to casualties. It also expresses its concern about besieging the house of the opposition media journalist Jowar Mohammed by the Ethiopian security forces and trying to withdraw his security clearance as a violation of the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

The Foundation stresses the need for the Ethiopian authorities to respect these opposition protests, which spread quickly to the cities of Adama, Ambo and Jimma. It calls for the need to exercise restraint in dealing with peaceful demonstrators. It is reported that the death toll of the Friday’s demonstrations rose to 67.

Maat believes that this is a serious escalation against the freedom of opinion and expression by the Ethiopian authorities against media personnel and bloggers, contradicting the ongoing allegations of the current authority, headed by Abiy Ahmed, of ensuring the freedom of opinion and expression.

Ayman Okeil, President of Maat, stated that what happened was contrary to Article 29 of the Ethiopian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of opinion and expression. It also contravenes Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on freedom of expression, and Article 21 that prohibits placing restrictions on peaceful assembly.

Okeil called for an urgent investigation and transparently announcing its results to the domestic and international public opinion. He called upon the authorities not to cut the Internet as a repeated way to deal with demonstrations as before. This is not particularly appropriate for a prime minister awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; there is no peace that corresponds to the suppression of demonstrators by the methods used by the former regime.

It is worth mentioning that Africa is part of Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights’ concern as a member of the General Assembly of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union and the North African Coordinator of the NGO Major Group.

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