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News: Fed. Police says 111 unlawful internet based media identified, ten suspects under investigation for “disturbing” country’s “peace, security”

Ethiopia Federal Police Headquarters

Addis Abeba – The Federal Police Commission said it has gathered information and identified 111 “unlawful” internet based media outlets that are engaged in disseminating contents inciting conflict on ethnic and religious issues without broadcasting permission that are in accordance with the Ethiopian Media Proclamation No. 1238/2021.

The statement from the federal police said the police have “identified 10 individuals who are under investigation suspected of disseminating contents “disrupting the peace and security of the country.” However, the statement did not mention their names.

The announcement comes as police crackdown last week saw at least a dozen journalists, commentators and media practitioners detained by the police. Many of whom are from various YouTube based media houses.

“These individuals have been formulating various provocative agendas and spreading hate speech to undermine the peace and security of our country and create suspicion between ethnic and religious groups,” the statement alleged.

The police also said it has “confirmed that the individuals had no legal status and were not registered in accordance with the Media Proclamation No. 1238/2021. It was also found that the individuals were using their media followers to distribute false and conflicting information for money.”

The federal police warned individuals “who make information accessible to the public through any media must abide by the law and order of the country and act responsibly in a legal manner,” and that “the police will continue to intensify their investigations into those who do not comply with the law.”

Furthermore, the police cautioned the public to “refrain from using all the information” and to “carefully examine” information and fulfill the national duty “by exposing and handing over those who are illegally engaging in “inciting religious and ethnic conflicts.” It also said that the police “will continue to strengthen its law enforcement efforts” in collaboration with other security and law enforcement agencies. AS

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