START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
1,882,108 people care about Human Rights

Human Rights Activism Criminalized in Ethiopia

Human Rights Activism Criminalized in Ethiopia

Overall, 2008 was not a good year for Ethiopians, and 2009 is not shaping up to be any better. An already oppressive and negligent government recently passed new legislation that would effectively criminalize the actions of human rights activists. The Charities and Societies Proclamation Law (CSO), which has been under review since the middle of last year, was finally passed in early January.

The new legislation entails considerably harsher government control as well as severe criminal penalties for non-government organizations that partake in human rights activism. This means that all foreign organizations and Ethiopian organizations that receive more than 10 percent of their funding from outside the country would be unable campaign for improvement in Ethiopia’s deteriorating human rights record.

While the Ethiopian government insists that the CSO law is designed to improve the administration of civil society, the truth is that this law imposes strict regulations and monitoring of the civil society in an immensely restrictive and intolerant manner. It is not unreasonable to believe that the government may be using this new law to mask the many human rights violations that are taking place in the country, like political oppression, obstruction of free expression, war crimes and crimes against humanity, torture, and unfair trials.

Amnesty International is vigorously urging the United States, the UK, and France to speak out in opposition to this new legislation. The difficulty of this situation is that the United States, as well as several European states, is in agreements to provide bilateral aid and support. The UK supplies financial aid to the country while the US provides military assistance in exchange for Ethiopia’s effort to stabilize the war-plagued surrounding region. The U.S. also benefits from having Ethiopia as an ally in the war on terror.

With so much at stake, the foreign nations have shown reluctance to oppose or condemn the Ethiopian government for their intolerance and disregard of human rights treaties and agreements that the country has signed into. Upon the introduction of this new legislation, the U.S. has decided to protest this effort to further repress civil society, and said that if the Ethiopian government does not make changes to the CSO law, the U.S. will have no choice but to limit its assistance to the country.

According to the Human Rights Watch Report, Ethiopia will be under review by the UN Human Rights Council’ Universal Periodic Review mechanism at the end of 2009.

Read more: , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

1 comments

+ add your own
5:02AM PST on Jan 17, 2009

That is really sad... I´m hopeless when I read this. But we have to be persist in trying to help people there...

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

If you haven't watched this video of an unarmed, totally blameless civilian being shot at three times…

Signed the petition. It's frightening to witness the degradation of morals in this country.

Make the Progressive party strong so they can represent the people constitutionally. They are the only…

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.