State of Emergency Prohibits Protest, Public Demonstration Featured

17 Feb 2018
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Addis Ababa February 17/2018 The six-month state of emergency, which Ethiopia declares on Friday, prohibits protest, campaigning for protest and carrying weapons and explosives, Minister of Defense Siraj Fegesa said.

He said at a press briefing that the state of emergency allows the command post to oversee its implementation and take necessary measures to ensure peace and stability.

A directive for the implementation of the ruling is expected to be issued after the approval of the decree by the House of Peoples’ Representatives, Siraj said.

Among the authority bestowed upon the command post is to arrest anyone who violates and leads others towards violating the ruling, according to Siraj. 

The command post can also close any media to safeguard the constitution and constitutional order as well as protect the rights of citizens, he added.

According to Siraj, the command post can also search premises, residences, and properties of individuals suspected of involving in illegal activities without a court warrant.

“The recent disturbances which led to the loss of human life and destruction of properties made the situation hard to manage through regular law” Siraj said explaining the necessity of the decree.

However, articles in the constitution regarding federal and democratic state structure; human rights; rights of equality; and the right to self determination and to speak, write and develop language and culture could not be suspended.

Responding to question related to possible use of un proportional force, the Minister said, “our defense forces not only locally but also across the entire Africa has proven that they always are committed to prioritizing the safety of the people than their own.”

Mentioning that the existence of domestic and foreign forces engaged in ruining the defenses force’s global recognition, Siraj said “we all must strive to revel these anti-peace forces’ falsehood.”

Recalling that the previous state of emergency, which went for ten months, had brought changes in restoring peace and stability, Siraj assured that the new ruling will eventually return the country to normalcy.

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