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Constitution as adopted on 8 December 1994.

Article 5

    1. All Ethiopian languages shall enjoy equal state recognition.

    2. Amharic shall be the working language of the Federal Government.

    3. Members of the Federation may by law determine their respective working languages.

Article 19

    1. Persons arrested have the right to be informed promptly, in a language they understand, of the reasons for their arrest and of any charge against them.

    2. Persons arrested have the right to remain silent. Upon arrest, they have the right to be informed promptly, in a language they understand, that any statement they make may be used as evidence against them in court.

Article 20

    7. [Accused persons] have the right to request the assistance of an interpreter at state expense where the court proceedings are conducted in a language which they do not understand.

Article 25

    All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection without discrimination on grounds of race, nation, nationality, or other social origin, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, property, birth or other status.

Article 38

    Every Ethiopian national, without any discrimination based on color, race, nation, nationality, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion or other status, has the following rights:
      To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly and through freely chosen representatives;

Article 39

    2. Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to speak, to write and to develop its own language; to express, to develop and to promote its culture; and to preserve its history.

    10. A "Nation, Nationality or People" for the purpose of this Constitution, is a group of people who have or share a large measure of a common culture or similar customs, mutual intelligibility of language, belief in a common or related identities, a common psychological make-up, and who inhabit an identifiable, predominantly contiguous territory.

Article 46

    States shall be delimited on the basis of the settlement patterns, language, identity and consent of the peoples concerned.

Note: The complete text of the Constitution is provided by the International Constitutional Law Project at the University of Bern.

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