Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ethiopia denies 'extreme' police violence at protests

(Oct 12, 2016, (Al Jazeera, Qatar))--Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on Tuesday that police had not used extreme violence against protesters and the government would investigate reports of such incidents.

The prime minister spoke during a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, and his remarks came as the country struggled with a wave of anti-government protests in which rights groups and the opposition said security forces had killed hundreds of people during demonstrations. As protests surged again, Ethiopia on Sunday declared its first state of emergency in 25 years, which state media said would last six months.

Human Rights Watch, a New York-based rights group, has put the death toll at 500, while social media activists and some opposition groups have said it is much higher.
The authorities say such estimates are exaggerated.

"The government is not using extreme violence. If it happened, we will investigate the units involved," Hailemariam said at a joint news conference with Merkel in the capital Addis Ababa.   Read more from Al Jazeera »

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