JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Video obtained by The Associated Press shows Ethiopian security forces beating, kicking and dragging several protesters in the capital over the weekend.
The protesters were arrested Saturday after a rare demonstration in Addis Ababa by hundreds of people calling for greater freedom in the East African nation. Several dozen people were shot dead in anti-government demonstrations across the country, opposition members and Amnesty International have said.
The government blocked internet access over the weekend and blamed the protests on "foreign-backed forces." Ethiopia, a close security ally of the West, is often accused by rights groups of stifling dissent.
The video, which appears to be shot from an upper floor of a nearby building, shows police pushing, pulling and dragging protesters one by one from the street into a run-down compound and out of sight.
Police officers are shown beating people with sticks and batons even after they fall to the ground. Some people are beaten after they have walked into the compound. One man backs up against a wall as an officer raises a stick. Another cowers against a wall as two officers beat and strike him.
The footage was provided by the Oromia Media Network, a U.S.-based opposition broadcasting outlet.