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Ethiopia’s New Draft Law Grants Investigators Power to Intercept Communications Without Court Order

New Draft Law _ Ethiopia
Tagesse Chafo, Speaker of the Ethiopian Parliament (Photo : PD)

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Toronto – A new draft law giving investigators power, without a court order, to intercept communication is reportedly under discussion in the Ethiopian Parliament.

Based on a BBC Amharic report, which was published on Tuesday, the legislation is framed in the context of “fighting terrorism and counterfeiting of proceeds of crime.” It is said to repeal the existing Criminal Proceeds of Crime and Terrorism Financing Prevention and Control Act.

According to the proposed legislation, Investigators can simply get authorization from the office of the Attorney and can intercept communication and exchange of letters. The existing law does not allow that. 

Among the methods of investigation under the new legislation are intercepting communication, monitoring bank accounts, monitoring computer systems, networks, and servers, and undercover operations. 

“If the investigator body is in an emergency situation, it can get authorization from the chief of prosecutor institution in the area and collect information using the investigation,” according to the draft bill, as reported by the BBC Amharic. 

This legislation certainly changes the way service providers offer service to their clients.  They are required to “cooperate” after verifying that the interception is authorized by a person of authority in the Prosecutor’s office. 

The fine for counterfeiting proceeds of crime is increased to 500,000 Ethiopian Birr. It used to be 100,000 birr. The source highlighted that the draft bill explained the need for increasing the fine. They were not retributive enough. 

However, the prison terms for “offenders” have not changed. It is still ten to fifteen years in prison without parole. 

A relevant committee in the Ethiopian parliament is reportedly viewing details of the bill and will be presented to the parliament for approval. 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Seems another dangerous move and carte blanche to arrest, torture and terrorize innocent citizens wiithout minimum and slightest due process. Expect more harsher things yet to come. This schizophrenic Abiy guy is now a full-fledged despost and recidivist criminal head of state by all accounts. I believed it is about time his dictatorship, misrule pattern and criminality exposed to the wider world.

  2. Absolutely agree with plainview et al! Only addition is Abiy and co has always been a criminal organization from inception. Con artists that successfully deceived the Ethiopian mass, murdered and pillaged without impunity until the brave men and women of FANNO said enough, bare arms and fight back to claim their God given freedom, rights and pride! There is no negotiation with Lucifer! One must cast the Devi out of him/her!

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