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Amnesty International Fears for Safety of Detained Ethiopian Teachers


A global human rights organization says it fears for the safety of two teachers who were arrested in Ethiopia after their union criticized the government.

Amnesty International says Wasihun Melese and Anteneh Getnet are being held without charge and are at risk of torture, ill-treatment or "disappearance." The pair was arrested September 23 in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Amnesty says Melese is being held at the Central Investigation Bureau. Getnet's location is unknown. Neither has been heard from since their detention.

The men are active members of the Ethiopian Teachers' Association. Amnesty says authorities may have arrested them in response to a complaint the teacher's association lodged with the International Labor Organization about the government's alleged interference with union activities, and the intimidation and arrest of its members.

The association is the oldest trade union in Ethiopia. It has been critical of the government's education policies. It has also voiced concern about the government's conduct during post-election demonstrations last year. Amnesty says security forces killed at least 80 people and carried out mass arrests.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.