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Witness – the Price of Mass Surveillance

Abeba, a 31-year-old Muslim woman who worked for a local government branch of Ethiopia’s youth and sports office, was at work when Ethiopian security officials detained her and took her to a military camp.

The authorities accused her of mobilizing Ethiopian Muslims – often ethnic Oromos like herself – against the government, Abeba said. When Abeba denied the allegation, the officers played a recording of a phone conversation she had with her sister, who lives in Yemen. The conversation was about day-to-day matters, Abeba said, but the authorities insisted that Abeba was talking in code, which peaceful Ethiopian activists often do to stay out of jail.

Abeba said she was locked in a small cell. That night, she was raped four times – she doesn’t know by whom. It was dark, and she couldn’t see.

A year ago, the world was rocked by revelations of massive spying by the United States National Security Agency. While few in the US worry that the surveillance will result in threats to their lives or their families, that’s not true in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia – one of the world’s most repressive countries – has virtually unlimited access to its citizens’ phone records, thanks to China-made surveillance technology. A new Click Here to Read More

Source: Witness – the Price of Mass Surveillance

    

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