Ethiopia: Joint UPR finds civic space remains constricted

In this submission, ARTICLE 19, along with other international, regional and national human rights and development organisations, examine the Government of Ethiopia’s compliance with its international human rights obligations since its last Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Earlier in 2018, Ethiopia underwent political transition which saw the appointment of a new Prime Minister and the lifting of the February 2018 state of emergency. In addition, Prime Minister Abiy pledged various reforms, including amendments to restrictive legislation around civic space and media freedoms. However, many of these pledges, as well as recommendations relating to civic space have yet to materialise.

Specifically, the submission analyses Ethiopia’s implementation of UPR recommendations and compliance with international standards concerning:

  • Freedom of association
  • Protection of human rights defenders, civil society activists and journalists
  • Freedom of expression, independence of the media and access to information
  • Freedom of peaceful assembly

On all these issues, the Ethiopian government showed no progress on previously accepted UPR recommendations. At this important point of political transition, this submission advocates for a renewed focus on implementing these accepted recommendations to open up democratic and civic space.

Read the submission