This figure (more than 11,000 people) is a huge increase on the 2500 arrests that Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s government had announced at the end of October

(New Vision)―Authorities have arrested more than 11,000 people since Ethiopia declared a state of emergency in early October amid violent protests, state TV said on Saturday.

Ethiopia has been in political crisis for around a year with frequent outbreaks of violence as authorities have brutally cracked down on anti-government demonstrators.

“Some 11,607 individuals have so far been detained in six prisons, of which 347 are female, in connection with the state of emergency declared in the country,” State of Emergency Inquiry Board chairperson Taddesse Hordofa said in a statement broadcast by EBC.

ALSO READ► Legal Analysis of Ethiopia’s State of Emergency (Human Rights Watch)

Taddesse Hordofa reeled off a long list of offenses ranging from serious crimes such as “attacking security forces using firearms” or “killing civilians and members of security forces” to the much more mundane “denying provision of public services” and “disrupting movement of vehicles”.

This figure is a huge increase on the 2,500 arrests that Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s government had announced at the end of October.

The six-month state of emergency was declared on October 9, an unprecedented move by the current government, which has been in power for 25 years.

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