Okeil: The Ethiopian government must respect the principles of democracy so that the country does not drift towards civil war
AbdelNasser: Issuing repressive laws against democracy is incompatible with the principles of peace, which the government claimed to publish
Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights indicated that the Ethiopian government has failed to apply the criteria and indicators of democracy. This came in a human rights study released on the Global Democracy Index and the extent of its application in the federal state of Ethiopia. Ethiopia has scored an average of about 3.24/10 in the application of global democracy indicators, since 2017 until today.
According to this global index, the Republic of Ethiopia was classified as an authoritarian country and does not have many manifestations of democracy and respect for civil liberties, mainly due to the continuous government practices since 2018.
The study concluded that the repressive practices carried out by the current Ethiopian government, which completely contradict the principles of democracy and respect for human rights, remain ongoing. The Ethiopian government still prevents peaceful demonstrations, suppresses demonstrators, and arrests opposition, creating an authoritarian climate that made it classified as an "authoritarian country" according to the index.
Commenting on the study, Ayman Okeil, president of Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights, said that Ethiopia's suppression of civil liberties and obstruction of partisan pluralism contradicts the current Ethiopian Prime Minister statements at the beginning of his rule that he advocates spreading freedoms and partisan pluralism and the participation of all ethnicities in governance. Okeil reiterated his recommendation to the Ethiopian government to urgently end the state of war in Tigray, which has extended to neighboring regions due to the elections, and to sit at the negotiating table with sincere intentions in order to reach satisfactory solutions for all parties.
Asmaa Abdul Nasser, researcher at the African Affairs and Sustainable Development Unit at Maat, recommended the Ethiopian government to repeal the laws that curb civil liberties and restrict political participation for all ethnicities, including the hate speech law, which prevents the circulation or publication of any speeches or publications criticizing the government under the pretext of preventing the spread of hate, which was condemned by many civil society organizations as a law to muzzle voices and curb political opposition.
Notably, Africa is among the issues of concern to Maat for Peace, Development and Human rights, being a member of the General Assembly for the Economic, Social & Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the Africa Union (AU). Moreover, Maat serves as an Observer in The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) and as a Northern African Coordinator in the major Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Africa of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).