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Human Rights and the Ethiopian Government - Essay Example

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The Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Front (EPRF) has been in control of the Ethiopian state since winning the 2000 election, and the party functions as a coalition of four different political groups. While the landslide election of 2000 had the EPRF winning by a considerable number of seats, doubt has been cast over the results of the most recent federal election in 2005 by contesting political groups (…
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Human Rights and the Ethiopian Government
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Download file to see previous pages The current government stands accused of acts that go against basic human rights and certainly in no way represent the will of the Ethiopian people for freedom and democracy.
The Human Rights Watch website ( has said that "the aftermath of Ethiopia's landmark May 2005 parliamentary elections has laid bare the deeply entrenched patterns of political repression, human rights abuse and impunity that characterize the day-to-day reality of governance in much of the country". Although the Ethiopian elections were of great interest to a world audience who felt that the democratic process was truly at work, the truth was that political groups were literally fighting it out for a place in debates and on the ballot boxes. The EPRF was busy coercing voters into a repeat result from the 2000 election with abusive tactics that the HRW researchers explain as "government officials and security forces in much of Ethiopia mak[ing] routine use of various forms of human rights abuse to deter and punish dissent" (Ibid.).
These authority figures are retaining such abusive control over the Ethiopian population by citing terrorist plots and other security threats that will legitimately let officials detain 'suspects' and interrogate them for purposes that actually bear no relation to actual national security. The EPRF has effectively decided that any dissenting movement from that of their own party is therefore a national threat and as such they have treated members of the CUD and the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces as enemies of the state. The 2005 Amnesty International Report mentions that aside from citizen unrest within the country due to fear of torture and detainment, the government has also proposed new legislation that would put members of the press at risk of arrest for probing into what are deemed private parliamentary matters (Amnesty International Report 2005).
Although international observers and internal watchdogs of the Ethiopian 2005 election reported that the results were in general in consensus with actual voting percentages, CUD and other opposition members maintained that there were a high number of uncounted ballots that might have made a significant difference to government. After refusing to accept the results of what they stated was a fixed election, CUD members decided that the official course of action would be civil disobedience. Thousands participated in the plan and this led to massive force on the part of the police, something that did no favors to the poor reputation of the EPRG in terms of human rights violations. After abusing these dissenters, the government maintained its official position and yet did little to change its image for the better both nationally and internationally. In the U.S. Department of State's "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices", fifteen different violations of human rights were reported including unlawful killings, detentions of thousands without charge, government interference in union activities, self-censorship by journalists, government infringement on citizens' privacy rights and government ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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