The U.S State Department says it is troubled by the potential impact of the decision to authorize detention without a warrant and to further limit freedom of expression, including by blocking Internet access, prohibiting public gatherings, and imposing curfews as part of the state of emergency declared in Ethiopia.
John Kirby, Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson for Bureau of Public Affairs, said in a statement that this declaration, if implemented in these ways, would further enshrine the type of response that has failed to ameliorate the recent political crisis.
“Political pluralism and respect for fundamental freedoms are essential to addressing the legitimate grievances of protesters and other Ethiopians. We reiterate our longstanding call for the Government of Ethiopia to respect its citizens’ constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms of expression and association, and to release those detained for peacefully exercising those rights,” John Kirby said.
“Arresting and silencing independent and critical voices is self-defeating and will lead to greater polarization, and makes it harder to find a solution acceptable to all Ethiopians.” He said the U.S strongly encourages everyone to refrain from committing further acts of violence in Ethiopia.
“Peaceful dialogue is the path to resolution of Ethiopia’s need for reform. Too many innocent lives have already been lost and too much destruction has already taken place.” It is to be recalled that President Mulatu Teshome said on October 10 during an address to the Parliament that the government will address some of the public’s grievances - such as land rights, electoral reform, and recognition of the special interest of the Oromia region in the city of Addis Ababa.
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