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Ethiopia activists knock police over arrest of top rights lawyer

Activists in Ethiopia have slammed the arrest on Wednesday of a known human rights defender. Reports said lawyer Henok Aklilu was arrested and is being held by the police.

According to leading blogger, Befeqadu Hailu, police had searched Aklilu’s office, seized his computer before detaining him at the Sostegna police station in the capital, Addis Ababa.

“No explanation of why he was detained,” he added. Hailu described the detainee as “a human rights lawyer who defended many politically motivated charges against activists.”

Award-winning journalist who was recently released from jail, Eskinder, also described the arrest as a ‘bad sign,’ that a known advocate of prisonsers of conscience be imprisoned.

Police have yet to speak on the arrest and what precipitated it. The Abiy-led government have since April been tagged an administration that had done a lot to break from the past of arbitrary arrests.

Amnesty International, AI, in September this year cautioned government against sliding back into the ear of arbitrary use of state authority.

Their warning came in the wake of mass arrests in and around the capital Addis Ababa after days of ethnic-based attacks that claimed lives.

Police have said over 1000 of the detainees are to be released today or latest by Saturday whiles about 80 others are to be arraigned before the courts for complicity in violent acts.

By Africanews

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