Ethiopia’s star singer Teddy Afro makes plea for openness

13 May

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Associated Press (AP)
 

In this photo taken Tuesday, May 9, 2017, Teddy Afro, the controversial singer whose album “Ethiopia” is topping the Billboard world chart, poses for a portrait during an interview at his home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Known for the political statements he makes in his music, an infectious mix of reggae and Ethiopian pop, Afro, 40, whose birth name is Tewodros Kassahun, told The Associated Press that raising political issues should not be a sin. (Mulugeta Ayene/Associated Press)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Teddy Afro, Ethiopia’s superstar singer, is topping the Billboard world albums chart with “Ethiopia,” which less than two weeks after its release has sold nearly 600,000 copies, a feat no other artist here has achieved.

Known for the political statements he makes in his music, an infectious mix of reggae and Ethiopian pop, the 40-year-old Tewodros Kassahun told The Associated Press that raising political issues should not be a sin.

Open debate “should be encouraged,” he said. “No one can be outside the influence of politics and political decisions.”

Ethiopia is an unlikely place for an outspoken singer to thrive. The government is accused of being heavy-handed on opposing voices.

During a visit this month, U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein expressed concern about the state of emergency imposed in October after months of deadly anti-government protests demanding wider freedoms. Opposition and human rights groups blame security forces for hundreds of deaths, but the government says they largely used “proportionate” measures.

The human rights chief also criticized Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism laws, saying an “excessively broad” definition of terrorism may be misused against journalists and opposition members.

Read the rest on The Washington Post
 

Related:

    Tigrean lecturer Nahusenay Belay’s Post on Teddy Afro and TPLF’s media

    ‘ኢትዮጵያ’: ቴዲ ያበረከተልን የፋሲካ ገጸ በረከታችን

    Breaking News: Ethiopia falls under six-month state of emergency

 

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