Ethiopia: UN expert on freedom of expression urges officials to stop shutting down internet

Author: Associated Press, VOA News, Published on: 10 December 2019

"UN Expert Urges Ethiopia to Stop Shutting Down Internet", 09 Dec 2019

David Kaye, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, told reporters in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, that he is concerned with the frequent internet shutdowns carried out by the government. “I've also experienced an internet shut down here in Ethiopia in the past week,” he said, referring to a brief shutdown on Dec. 5 that Ethiopian officials said was to stop a cyber-attack targeting the country's financial institutions. Ethiopia has shut down the internet nine times in 2019, mostly during national exams and public protests, he said. “Internet shutdowns are almost always in violation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression,” said Kaye. “I want to strongly urge the government to not use internet shutdown as a tool. I've asked several times `Where do you have the authority in law to shut down the internet?' Nobody could give me an answer.”...  “This is a remarkable moment in Ethiopia with all sorts of reforms happening in the country,” he said...He said, however, that more reforms are needed. “I've expressed my concern regarding the draft hate speech and disinformation law as it may inadvertently criminalize public debate,” he said... 

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