After "Nobel Peace": Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Ethiopia is in danger!
Aqeel: The Ethiopian government must abide by articles 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights condemns the use of violence against the peaceful demonstrators, and the deaths among them. It also expresses its concern about the Ethiopian security forces surrounding the home of the opposition journalist Jawhar Muhammad, and the attempt to withdraw his security permit, as a violation of the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly.
The Maat Foundation stresses the need for the Ethiopian authorities to respect those opposition protests, which quickly spread to the cities of Adama, Ambo and Jima, and calls for the need to exercise restraint in dealing with peaceful demonstrators, especially with the news that the death toll from the demonstrations on Friday has risen to 67.
Maat Foundation believes that this is a dangerous escalation against freedom of opinion and expression by the Ethiopian authorities against media professionals and bloggers, and contradicts the ongoing claims of the current authority, headed by "Abi Ahmed" to guarantee freedom of opinion and expression.
Ayman Aqil, head of the Maat Foundation, stated that what happened contradicts Article 29 of the Ethiopian constitution, which guarantees freedom of opinion and expression. It also violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Article 19 on freedom of expression of persons, and violates Article 21 on the right not to impose oppressive restrictions on peaceful assembly.
Aqeel called for the necessity to conduct an urgent investigation, and to announce its results with full transparency to the local and international public opinion. He also called on the authorities not to shut down the Internet as a repetitive way to deal with the demonstrations as it was before. Especially since this is not commensurate with the obtaining of the Prime Minister, "Abiy Ahmed", the Nobel Peace Prize. There is no peace compatible with the suppression of demonstrators in those ways that were used by the previous regime!
It is worth noting that Africa comes within the interest of the Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights, as it is a member of the General Assembly in the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union, as well as the North African region coordinator in the group of major NGOs in Africa affiliated to the high-level political forum at the United Nations.