These rights are entrenched in international law and frequently touted by the government as part of Ethiopia’s constitution.In practice, they are undercut by problematic national laws and practices by the authorities that wholly disregard any legal protections.Phone networks have been shut down during peaceful protests.
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In rural Ethiopia, where phone coverage and Internet access is very limited, the government maintains control through extensive networks of informants and a grassroots system of surveillance.
This rural legacy means that ordinary Ethiopians commonly view mobile phones and other new communications technologies as just another tool to monitor them.
This report is based on research conducted between September 2012 and February 2014, including interviews with more than 100 people in 11 countries.
It documents how the Ethiopian government uses its control over the telecommunications system to restrict the right to privacy and freedoms of expression and association, and access to information, among other rights.
They arrested me because we talked about politics on the phone.