Ethiopian PM says police do not use violence against protesters

October 11, 2016 5:10 AM EDT

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn attends the opening ceremony of the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

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ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on Tuesday that police had not used violent tactics against protesters and the government would investigate such incidents, speaking during a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Ethiopia has been hit by a wave of protests over land and political rights for more than a year, in which rights groups and the opposition say police have used excessive force. The government denies this and say the death toll is exaggerated.

Merkel told the prime minister that protests should be allowed and any police response should be proportionate.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Edmund Blair)

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