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Ethiopia ending ban on election protests

[JURIST] The Ethiopian government has said that it will not renew a ban on post-election demonstrations against accusations of election fraud [JURIST report] after it expires Friday. Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi [official profile] originally instituted a month-long ban against protests in and near the country's capital beginning on the May 15 election day, but it was extended after demonstrations ensued over the provisional election tallies. The government asserts that 26 people were killed during the demonstrations, while the Ethiopian Human Rights Council [official website] claims over 36 deaths actually occurred [JURIST report] as it continues to investigate reports of missing people. Government Information Minister Bereket Simeon has denied there are still people missing and said an extension on the ban is not necessary because the "situation is very calm" as people wait for the results of votes currently being investigated by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) [official website]. The Electoral Board confirmed the voting results for 307 constituencies [NEBE press release] last week. Voice of America has more; listen to the VOA report here [audio].

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