People mourn the death of Dinka Chala who was shot dead by the Ethiopian forces the day earlier, in the Yubdo Village, about 100 km from Addis Ababa in the Oromia region, on 17 December 2015. / AFP / ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER
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At least 75 people have been killed during weeks of protests in Ethiopia which have seen soldiers and police firing on demonstrators, Human Rights Watch said Saturday.Rights groups have repeatedly criticized Ethiopia's use of anti-terrorism legislation to stifle peaceful dissent, with Washington expressing concern over the crackdown and urging Addis Ababa to employ restraint.With at least 27 million people, Oromia is the most populous of the country's federal states and has its own language, Oromo, distinct from Ethiopia's official Amharic language.HRW said the protests – and bloody crackdown – echoed protests in April and May 2014 when police were accused of opening fire and killing "dozens" of protesters. The government said eight people died in the 2014 unrest.
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