UDJ Report: More than 150 members illegally detained and abducted between July and September 2013
(Reuters) – An Ethiopian opposition group accused police and security officials of beating, illegally detaining and abducting more than 150 of its members between July and September this year.
The Horn of Africa country has won international plaudits for delivering double-digit growth for much of the past decade, but rights groups often accuse the government of using state institutions to stifle dissent and silence political opposition.
Addis Ababa, long seen by the West as a bulwark against militant Islam in the Horn of Africa, denies charges that it is quashing dissent.
In a 39-page report launched on Thursday, the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) detailed what it said were “gruesome rights violations” committed against its supporters and members.
“One hundred and fifty members and supporters of the party have been subject to severe beatings, illegal detentions and abductions by police and security officials,” party chairman Negasso Gidada told reporters.
“We are asking the government to stop these human rights violations and take those responsible to justice,” said Negasso, who served as the country’s president from 1995 to 2001, before joining the opposition.
A government spokesman declined to comment saying it had to receive the report. Read more