Arrests as Ethiopian Muslims stage eid protests

Muslims in Ethiopia protested in the capital Addis Ababa during Eid al-Fitr prayers on Thursday, as part of a two-year-old campaign against what they say is government interference in their religious affairs.

Arrests as Ethiopian Muslims stage eid protests

World Bulletin/News Desk

Muslims in Ethiopia protested in the capital Addis Ababa during Eid al-Fitr prayers on Thursday, as part of a two-year-old campaign against what they say is government interference in their religious affairs.

A heavy police presence around the city's stadium - the venue for morning prayers - marked a tense runup to the Muslim holiday after clashes between Muslims and police killed up to five people last week in Ethiopia's south.

Demonstrators chanted "Allahu Akbar" and hoisted banners that read "respect the constitution", referring to allegations that the government has tried to influence the highest Muslim affairs body, the Ethiopia Islamic Affairs Supreme Council.

Ethiopia denies the claims.

Muslims make up about a third of the population in the majority Christian nation of 85 million.

Some have been staging mosque sit-ins and street protests in the capital for almost two years. They accuse the government of promoting an "alien" branch of Islam - the Al Ahbash sect.

The government denies that, and protesters' allegations that authorities tried to rig elections to the Islamic council earlier this year.

Amnesty International urged Ethiopia on Thursday to end "its use of repressive tactics" against the demonstrators.

Last Mod: 08 Ağustos 2013, 16:52
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