HUNDREDS of Muslims protesters demonstrated in Ethiopia Friday, demanding the release of 17 of their leaders jailed under terrorism charges last year.
“What the government is doing doesn’t solve the problem, rather it will worsen the situation,” said protestor Mohammad Seman, speaking at the demonstration following busy Friday prayers at a popular Addis Ababa mosque.
More than 25 peaceful Muslim protesters, including one child, have been killed and scores wounded on Friday by government forces marking the beginning of more religious violence and bloodshed in the country.
Muslims in the country have been holding peaceful protests and mosque sit-ins for close to two years over the regime’s continued intereference in the Ethiopia Islamic Affairs Supreme Council including handpicking political operatives as leaders of the country’s highest Muslim Affairs body.
The U.S. government on Friday commended activists, citizens and journalists for their courage in advocating for universal human rights and expressed concern over the heightened crackdown on civil liberties, rebuking several countries for shrinking the space for journalists and activists.
In its 36th annual report of human rights practices around the world, the State Department criticized the increased suppression of freedoms of expression, assembly, association and religion. The report said governments continued to repress or attack the means by which individuals organize and “demand better performance from their rulers” by instituting new impending laws throughout 2012. Continue reading State Department Slams Ethiopia on Human Rights→