UN alarmed at 'climate of intimidation' in Ethiopia

2012-07-18 22:27
Picture: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com">Shuttertstock</a>

Picture: Shuttertstock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - Journalists and human rights campaigners are the target of "overly broad" anti-terrorism laws in Ethiopia where there is a "climate of intimidation", a top UN expert said on Wednesday.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay spoke out after the recent prosecution of journalists and activists under legislation passed in 2009.

"The once vibrant civil society in Ethiopia has been whittled away as the space for them to operate freely has rapidly shrunk since the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation was passed into law," Pillay said in a statement from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva.

"The dramatic reduction in the number of organisations working on human rights issues, particularly on civil and political rights, is deeply disturbing."

Some 20 Ethiopians, including journalist-blogger Eskinder Nga, were jailed on July 13 for up to 18 years after being accused of promoting anti-government protest in Ethiopia, including by using examples of the Arab Spring uprisings in the media.

Pillay said the "overly broad definitions in the July 2009 anti-terrorism law of Ethiopia result in criminalising the exercise of fundamental human rights."

"Taken together, such laws have created a climate of intimidation," she added.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    ethiopia  |  human rights  |  east africa

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

UK expert: Boks ‘have KO game’
Ireland hold on to down Italy
As it happened: Ireland 16-9 Italy
All Blacks sympathise with England
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to day...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.