01 January, 2009

Ethiopian Government very serious about democracy

Back in 2005, Ethiopia held elections. Until the polls closed, everyone was very impressed with how free and fair everything was. However, many people smelled a rat when the ruling EPRDF party announced that had won five minutes after the end of voting. Street protests erupted in areas where the opposition was strong, especially in Addis Ababa, the capital. The authorities crushed these in the most uncompromising manner. They also threw the entire opposition into jail, only releasing them when they signed documents accepting the blame for the riots that had followed the election results.

Now the Ethiopian authorities have thrown Birtukan Medeksa, a leading opposition figure, back into jail. Ms Birtukan had apparently given an interview saying that she had been released from jail in 2006 not because she accepted responsibility for the riots but through secret negotiations between the government and opposition. She is now serving a life sentence, for treason.

Image source (and more information on Ms Birtukan's arrest and Ethiopian politics generally)

No comments: