More than 2,800 people have been arrested in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, for failing to wear face masks in public places and for violating the social distancing rules outlined under country’s state of emergency, the Addis Ababa Police Commission disclosed Saturday.
To enforce the emergency decree, police in Addis Ababa have this week started patrolling areas that are known for being highly crowded under normal circumstances, including busy marketplaces, transport service and at public service providing areas.
Accordingly, 1,941 individuals were arrested for not wearing a face mask, while 860 were held for violating social distancing rules.
On April 8, Ethiopia declared a five-month state of emergency that has given extra power to law enforcement bodies to enforce the decree.
In reaction to police measures, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said “arbitrary arrests” being made by police against people going out without wearing masks was “needless"
“Indeed, the Emergency Regulations imposed as an obligation to wear face masks in public services are critical to health directives,” the commission said in a statement.