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Ethiopia underreported death toll in 2005 election protests: report

[JURIST] Members of an Ethiopian inquiry team charged with investigating violent mass demonstrations [JURIST report] following the May 2005 elections and separate protests [JURIST report] about ballot fraud in November 2005 announced Wednesday that 193 civilians were killed by Ethiopian security forces during the violence, nearly three times the official number reported by the government. Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi [BBC profile] and other government officials declined to respond to the excessive force claims. Zenawi reportedly told the inquiry team to alter its report in July, just two days before the group had planned to present its findings to the Ethiopian Parliament. At least two members of the 10-person panel have since fled from Ethiopia [JURIST news archive]. AP has more.

Over 100 journalists, lawmakers and human rights activists were initially charged with treason [JURIST report] following the mass protests in 2005, though some may have been granted amnesty [JURIST report] by Ethiopian President Girma Woldegiorgis [official profile] in a surprise move last month.

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