top of page
Moving People


  • the east african

Amnesty urges Ethiopia to reinstate social media access

Amnesty International has urged the Ethiopian government to immediately lift a one-month-old blockade imposed on selected social media platforms.

Ethiopian authorities shut down access to popular social media platforms on February 9, 2023 after tensions between the country’s authorities and the Orthodox Tewahdo Church escalated.

The internet disruption was in response to planned protests over an alleged government-backed attempt to split the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewhado Church.

Last month, the Orthodox Church, the country's largest religious denomination, accused Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government of backing a breakaway synod created by bishops in the Oromia region and called for mass protests.

But the Orthodox Church called off the public demonstrations following a meeting with the prime minister.

Amnesty International speaks

As the social media blockade enters its second month, Amnesty International said the continued it clearly violates citizens' rights to freedom of expression and access to information.

"Ethiopian authorities have, for a month now, blocked people in the country from accessing selected social media platforms such as Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and YouTube," Amnesty International Deputy Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Flavia Mwangovya said.

"The authorities thus continue to violate people's right to freedom of expression, which includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart information," Mwangovya added.

Amnesty International called on Ethiopian authorities to immediately reinstate full access to social media platforms across the country.

The blockade, according to Amnesty, also flies in the face of Ethiopia's own constitution and national laws, as well as regional and international treaties to which Ethiopia is a party.

"The restriction further stains the country's already dismal record on media freedom," Mwangovya said.

Ethiopia, Africa's second-most populous country, has a history of imposing social media restrictions during protests.




Subscribe and keep up to date with all the latest news from Oakmark

bottom of page