Hachalu Hundessa: Internet interrupted in Ethiopia after the death of the singer and activist


Hachalu, a prominent figure in the Oromo ethnic group, was shot Monday night in the Gelan Condominiums area of ​​the capital Addis Ababa, according to state broadcaster EBC, citing Addis Ababa police commissioner Getu Argaw. .

On Tuesday, images of protesters in the capital and the Oromia region circulated on social media and the US embassy in Ethiopia issued a security alert saying the embassy was “monitoring reports of protests and riots, including shooting throughout Addis Ababa. ”

Protesters also protested the singer’s death in front of the US embassy, ​​the alert said, describing the situation as “volatile at the moment.”

A general closure

Netblocks, an internet monitoring NGO, reported that the internet “has been cut in most of Ethiopia since just after 9 am local time on Tuesday.”
The Ethiopian government has previously been accused of shutting down internet and telecommunications services during elections and periods of unrest. Ethio Telecom, the country’s only telecommunications provider, is a government-owned monopoly.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted his condolences to Hachalu’s family and friends on Tuesday, adding that an investigation is underway, but urged his citizens to keep the peace.

The Addis Ababa police commissioner said some suspects in the shooting were arrested, reports EBC.

The Ethiopian leader promised to protect freedom of expression.  But he keeps flipping the internet switch
Hachalu fought for the visibility of the Oromo ethnic group, and her songs brought together Ethiopia’s youth during years of protests that led to political reforms in the country in 2018, said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the great lakes

Jackson said authorities must conduct a “quick, thorough, impartial, independent and effective investigation” into the singer’s murder and immediately reestablish the Internet connection to allow the musician’s fans to mourn his death.

“Authorities should immediately lift the widespread shutdown of the Internet across the country and allow people to access information and cry freely to the musician,” said Jackson.

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