On July 7, 2009, Ethiopian lawmakers passed a controversial anti-terrorism law proposed to address threats from internal rebel groups. Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed that the law was unconstitutional and ambiguous enough to have the potential to punish those who participate in political speech and peaceful protest as terrorists. Amnesty International (AI) also urged lawmakers to enact anti-terrorism laws in accordance with international rights standards. Communications Minister Bereket Simon maintained that the law was constitutional and that the country had a right to protect itself from rebel groups.
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