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International rights groups say the law creates a legal means for the government to muzzle opponents.

 

“Politicians or activists or others will be forced to be cautious, afraid that their speech might fall into the definition of hate speech or can be considered as false information,” said Amnesty International’s Ethiopia researcher Fischer Tell.

 

In December, Human Rights Watch (HRC) had warned the law could “significantly curtail freedom of expression” in the country.

 

“Ethiopia should be removing legal provisions that restrict free expression, not adding more vague provisions that risk stifling critical public debate on important issues,” HRB’s Laetitia Bade said at the time.

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