Home | News    Friday 5 April 2013

Muslim protesters face “unfair trial” under Ethiopia’s anti-terror law, says HRW

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April 4, 2013 (PARIS) - Human Rights Watch has expressed grave concern on the prosecution of 29 Muslim protesters in Addis Ababa, including nine prominent Islamic leaders who are being tried under Ethiopia’s controversial anti-terrorism law.

The leaders and activists were arrested in July last year following six months of public protests staged by the Muslims in the Ethiopian capital and in other towns. The protestor are by the Ethiopian government of interfering in the religious affairs of the Islamic population, which comprises around 35% of Ethiopia’s 84 million population.

Ethiopian authorities have denied the allegations and blamed a small group of extremists for violent protests, which first begin in December 2011.

All the 29 arrested protestors are charged with plotting acts of “terrorism” under Ethiopia’s controversial terror legislation. A move which is deeply concerning the New York based rights organisation has said.

The trial resumed on Tuesday after it was postponed for 40 days.

“Ethiopia’s deeply flawed anti-terrorism law raises serious fair trial concerns” it said in a press release on April 2.

According to Human Rights Watch, the case has already had major due process problems.

Defendants said they were given only little access to legal counsel. Others alleged that they have faced ill-treatment in pre-trial detention.

Human Rights Watch added that the high court has since January 22 closed the hearings to the public, including the media, diplomats, and family members of defendants.

“There seems to be no limit to the Ethiopian government’s use of its anti-terrorism law and unfair trials to stop peaceful dissent,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

“The government’s treatment of these Muslim leaders bears the hallmarks of a politically motivated prosecution.” Lefkow added.

The group has called on the Ethiopian government to review the 2009 passed terror law and noted a need for Ethiopian authorities to hold dialogue with the Muslim community to resolve the crises.

“Rather than jailing peaceful protesters and critical journalists, the government should amend the anti-terrorism law and stop these politically motivated trials,” Lefkow said.

“The government should be reaching out to the Muslim community and discussing their grievances rather than silencing their voices and leaders.”

Ethiopia has a secular government and prohibits government interference in any religion of the country.

Religion-related unrest is rare in Ethiopia and the country has a history of religious tolerance between Muslims and the dominant Christians.

(ST)

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  • 5 April 2013 06:41, by ForAll

    "Human Rights Watch has expressed grave concern on the prosecution of 29 Muslim protesters in Addis Ababa."
    Where are the MUSLISMS who have big mouths only against their peoples????

    repondre message

  • 5 April 2013 07:02, by ForAll

    IC and HRW must be well informed that the Ethiopian Muslims are the majority but they are treated as third class citizens.
    What I want for ETHIOPIA is unity and Equal civil rights for all.

    repondre message

    • 5 April 2013 07:18, by Addis Ababa

      Dear "Forall"
      You do not know the reality in Ethiopia. Muslims and Christians are equally treated in all government and social issues. There are no 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes in my country. We are all Ethiopians that all. However, some fundamentals are trying to change this conducive situation in to Middle East system and to Arabaization the east Africa starting from Ethiopia, but they have to know

      repondre message

    • 5 April 2013 07:20, by Addis Ababa

      Dear "Forall"
      You do not know the reality in Ethiopia. Muslims and Christians are equally treated in all government and social issues. There are no 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes in my country. We are all Ethiopians that all. However, some fundamentals are trying to change this conducive situation in to Middle East system and to Arabaization the east Africa starting from Ethiopia, but they have to know

      repondre message

      • 5 April 2013 07:31, by ForAll

        Please reread the history of Ethiopia the oldest strong country in Africa. Moreover be well informed that all Muslims who strongly believe in Islam love Ethiopia for GREAT help to the first Muslims who left Arians peninsula for PEACE and SUPPORT in Ethiopia.

        repondre message

      • 5 April 2013 07:38, by ForAll

        I have all love and respect to my master BILAL and I am helping all Ethiopians in Sudan and fight my peoples for them.
        But today Ethiopia is the well planned and structured place to degrade Ethiopian Muslims.
        Ethiopia needs CHANGE and CHANGE for better CHANGE to implement Equal Civil Rights for all Citizens.

        repondre message

    • 5 April 2013 09:00, by Gat-khir

      Read the article, Muslims in Ethiopia are only 30% of 84 million. who told you that Muslims are the majority in Ethiopia. Again, that man called lefkow must shut his mouth up. Ethiopia is for Ethiopians. That behavior of terrorism must be dealt with properly. The trail is based on anti-terror law of the country and it is fair.

      repondre message

      • 5 April 2013 09:40, by ForAll

        "Read the article, Muslims in Ethiopia are only 30% of 84 million."
        Thank you very much for your detailed support of what I have posted. Yes Muslims are the majority with reference to other religions in Ethiopia.
        Please ask your government not to treat Muslims like what happened to FALASHA the true Jews. Sudan supported the marginalized Ethiopian Jews to escape

        repondre message

  • 5 April 2013 07:45, by ForAll

    African brother Addis Ababa
    Let’s work harder to CHANGE our regions (countries) and then build the GREAT EAST AFRICAN COUNTRY with capital in Addis Ababa.

    repondre message

    • 5 April 2013 09:14, by Gat-khir

      The relationship between God and a man is something personal. some people, specially our muslim brothers, always hide their personal agendas behind the religion and forces you to agree with him/them. They want you to have a smooth relationship with them only if you accept the ideology of slam. Religion is a choice, it is not something to be imposed on others by force.

      repondre message

      • 5 April 2013 12:40, by ForAll

        The UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
        Article 19
        Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

        repondre message

    • 5 April 2013 09:22, by Gat-khir

      Yes, i agree with you that East African countries should be united with Addis Abeba as Capital city. But that unity must be free from any religious ideology. East Africa must resist that ideology of arabization and islamization. South Sudanese has proved it right that there is no room for arabization in East Africa.

      repondre message

      • 5 April 2013 09:51, by ForAll

        The old great Ethiopia is the first Kingdom in world to support ideology of Arabization and Islamization in Africa.
        Please stop your hatred to Arabs and Muslims While Africa has bigger number of Muslims than Arab countries.
        You need be very proud with the strong relations between Ethiopians and Arabs even before Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

        repondre message

        • 5 April 2013 10:11, by cl001

          Cristiano Ronaldo always loved Nike Mercurial Vapor 2013 series. Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII is also consistent with his strict standards. Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly CR7 Soccer is a game of finesse and beauty—and nothing embodies that more than the newly unveiled Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII CR cleat.

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          • 5 April 2013 10:30, by ForAll

            Is/was the main conflict between Eritrea, Somalia...and Ethiopia the Islam????
            The president of Eritrea is not Muslim !!!!
            The finders of HRW are/were not Muslims but they respect Muslims and willing to stop the virus of discrimination and marginalization for Muslims in Ethiopia.

            repondre message

  • 5 April 2013 13:18, by ForAll

    HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
    * Ethiopian Muslims: HAVE BEEN EXCLUDED OR RIDICULED BECAUSE OF THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
    *Ethiopian Muslims: HAVE BEEN DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BECAUSE OF THEIR TRIBES AND MARGINALIZED REGIONS IN ETHIOPIA

    repondre message

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