Back in the dark: Ethiopia shuts down internet once again

Yesterday evening, June 29,  prominent Oromo musician and social activist, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, was shot dead in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Following his tragic death at the hands of unknown assailants, it is reported that numerous protests sprung up in Addis Ababa and surrounding areas, with people taking to the streets demanding justice.

At approximately 09:00 EAT today, Tuesday June 30, a blanket internet shutdown was implemented by the Ethiopian government, cutting the entire nation off, and denying people their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and access to information.

The current shutdown adds to a growing list of government-mandated blackouts in Ethiopia, and is becoming a go-to tool for authorities to muzzle unrest and activism.  Ethiopia has previously shut down the internet more than 12  times, and most recently the government cut off the internet for approximately three months in the Oromia region.  

“This shutdown comes at a time when the country is mourning the loss of a beloved musician and a courageous activist and millions are calling for justice for Haacaaluu,” said Berhan Taye, Access Now’s Senior Policy Analyst and Global Internet Shutdowns Lead. “Access to credible information is essential at times of crisis and emergency, and this current internet shutdown is causing further confusion, powerlessness, and anxiety among Ethiopians and the diaspora.” 

The post Back in the dark: Ethiopia shuts down internet once again appeared first on Access Now.

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