Ethiopia approves law to imprison people who share defamatory speech online

8 Jun

Editor’s Note:

    This latest proclamation is the repressive ethnic minority TPLF regime’s sequel to its 2009 anti-terrorism law.

    This regime is now a candidate to become member of the United Nations Security Council, whose election takes place at the General Assembly’s 70th resumed session on June 28, 2016.

    Also a top member of the country’s leadership by the name Dr. Tedros Adhanom is also made candidate to head the World Health Organization (WHO), as it ninth Director-General.

    In reality, however, while a friend of the West Ethiopia under the TPLF has unmistakably proved an enemy of the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments, which the country has signed and ratified.

    Those who have taken lessons from today’s Burundi, need to seriously review to bar a country openly practicing ethnic discrimination, torture, and disappearances from assuming such international responsibilities.

    This would stop it from thinking and believing that its unlawful anti-human rights actions have been accepted by the international community. Also this diminish it from becoming incentive to other African dictators or encouraging others from wanting to copy its example..

 

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Associated Press
 

Ethiopia’s parliament on Tuesday approved a law to imprison people who distribute defamatory speech, pornography and spam online, a move that bloggers and activists said is meant to silence dissent.

The law’s most severe penalty is 10 years’ imprisonment for sharing pornography online. Sharing defamatory speech or spam gets at least three years in prison.

Ethiopia’s cybersecurity officials have said the country is subject to more than 1,000 cyberattacks per day, and the government has said the new law will enable it to prosecute such crimes more efficiently.

But rights groups have accused the East African country of restricting freedom of expression and using spyware against dissidents living overseas. An Ethiopian court last month charged an opposition activist over his Facebook posts.

Daniel Berhane, a popular blogger, said the new law is a concern to him as an editor of a website that has several contributors and is an active user of social media.

“It jumbled provisions for cyberattacks with provisions about content, thereby paving the way for a heavy-handedness on online expression,” he said.
 

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