Ethiopia poised to come up with legislation to fight hate speech

Hate speech _ Ethiopia
Credit : EBC

April 5, 2019

Freedom of speech and expression, especially when it comes to social media usage, was recklessly exploited so much so that what rather constitute hate speech was mistaken for it.

The issue has become a matter of concern for government and society like, and Ethiopian Federal Prosecutor has prepared a draft bill which it says will help fight dissemination of false information and hate speech.

Draft legislation was discussed on Friday in a forum organized by law faculty of Addis Ababa University. The forum was attended by opposition party representatives and academicians, among others.

If ratified, citizens involved in the writing and/or deliberate dissemination of hate speech could be put behind bars up to three years and pay up to 10,000 Ethiopian birr fine.

An individual or individuals who happen to cause fear or threat as a result of hate speech could face up to 10 years of jail terms.

The intention, according to a report by state broadcaster, EBC, is to ensure that freedom of expression is not pursued at the expense of the dignity, security, and safety of other citizens.

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