2,000 people charged with rioting in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian judiciary has brought charges against around 2,000 people for the unrest with more than 160 dead. Prosecutor General Gedion Timothewos said on Friday, according to the British broadcaster BBC, that the defendants were accused of being responsible for the outbreaks of violence following the death of the singer Hachalu Hundessa. Timothewos did not disclose which crimes they are accused of.

At least 166 people were killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in June and July. The unrest was triggered by the murder of the politically active singer Hundessa on June 29 in Addis Ababa, the circumstances of which are still not fully understood. Hundessa supported the protests of the Oromo ethnic group, who feel disadvantaged by the government, with his songs.

Critics accused Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government of suppressing protests. Prosecutor General Timothewos said that although there were politicians among the defendants, they were not persecuted for their political activities. Last week, the judiciary had already brought charges against 24 opposition activists accused of terrorism, calls for ethnic and religious violence and violations of the gun law in connection with the unrest. Among them is the influential media entrepreneur and politician Jawar Mohammed.