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Ethiopia: 23 Die in Disputed Circumstances at Addis Ababa Prison

HeadlineSep 07, 2016

In Ethiopia, at least 23 people have died under disputed circumstances at a prison in the capital Addis Ababa where many Oromo protesters are incarcerated. The Ethiopian government says the prisoners died of suffocation after a fire broke out, prompting a stampede. But local media is reporting that prisoners were actually shot by guards and that the sound of gunfire was heard at the prison during the time of the fire. Some believe the fire was set on purpose. For over two years, the Oromo have staged massive nationwide protests against the Ethiopian government. Ethiopian forces have responded with a brutal crackdown against the Oromo protesters. Last month, human rights groups say nearly 100 people were killed after government forces opened fire during a day of nationwide marches. Also last month, Ethiopian Olympic runner Feyisa Lelisa raised his arms in an “X” as he won a silver medal in the marathon to protest Ethiopia’s human rights abuses against his ethnic tribe, the Oromo people.

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