Ethiopia: Crackdown in Addis Ababa Internet Cafés, Two arrested on Tuesday- By Addis Neger

August 12th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Addis Neger reporters confirmed that Internet cafés in Addis Ababa are becoming targets of the security operatives in recent months. One of our reporters witnessed last week a young Internet user, in one of the Cafés around Piassa, told by security agents to close down Ethiopian opposition websites. Another customer of the same area told Addis Neger that he was picked by three government agents while leaving the Café and warned that “visiting anit-peace websites using proxy servers is a crime” and advised “to correct such bad habits.” Though remained unconfirmed, similar reports are coming from other parts of the City in the last three weeks.

Two unidentified Internet Café users are reportedly arrested on Tuesday while they were using a Café around 4 kilo. Sources that were in the Cafe told Addis Neger reporters that security agents in plain clothes took the two individuals with computers they were using. The owner of the Café was told that the arrest is “related with terrorism” and the PCs to be returned after investigation.

According to a source who was in the café during the arrest, all users were told to shutdown their computers while the two were separated for investigation and the café closed for about 20 minutes. The security operatives entered the café after the two “suspects” opened email accounts and websites. The two was ordered to leave their seat without closing their accounts and sites they were visiting.

“It is shocking to see people using Internet café besides you are arrested for terrorism,” another witness told Addis Neger. We can establish neither the identity nor the where about of the two people arrested. However, all our sources identified them as “youth in their 20s or probably early 30s.” Addis Neger refrained from mentioning the exact name and location of the Internet Café to protect their business interest.

Addis Neger reporters confirmed that Internet cafés in Addis Ababa are becoming targets of the security operatives in recent months. One of our reporters witnessed last week a young Internet user, in one of the Cafés around Piassa, told by security agents to close down Ethiopian opposition websites. Another customer of the same area told Addis Neger that he was picked by three government agents while leaving the Café and warned that “visiting anit-peace websites using proxy servers is a crime” and advised “to correct such bad habits.” Though remained unconfirmed, similar reports are coming from other parts of the City in the last three weeks.

4 kilo is the among the most popular centers of Addis Ababa surrounded by Addis Ababa University Campuses and other institutions, famous cafes, internet centers/cafes and book stores. Similarly, Piassa is a historical land mark and the center of the City crowded by businesses of all kinds.

Source: Addis Neger

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