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A think tank says Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law is used to stifle dissent

January 21, 2016
Source
ESAT

The government of Ethiopia routinely uses its vague and overly broad anti-terrorism law to stifle freedom of expression and political opposition, the Oakland Institute, a policy think tank said in a report today.

“The flawed anti-terrorism law must be revised and its misuse by the government stopped,” the Institute recommended.

Ethiopia’s highly controversial anti-terrorism law, Proclamation No. 652/2009, 1 was enacted in 2009.

The report recalled that “in the course of deliberations over the law, some members of the Ethiopian parliament, as well as human rights organizations, journalists, and others, expressed grave concerns that the law contained an overly broad and vague definition of terrorism, gave the police and security services unprecedented new powers, usurped citizens’ constitutional rights, and shifted the burden of proof to the accused.”

“Those fears have proven to be well founded. During the six years since the enactment of the law, people from all walks of life have been found to be ‘terrorists’ or are awaiting trial as such. Political opponents of the administration have been kidnapped from other countries and brought to Ethiopia to stand trial under the law. Some have been charged with crimes for actions that took place before the law even took effect,”