Amhara Regional StateEthiopiaNews

News: Amhara state security detain more than 4,000 in ongoing crackdown

Desalegn Tassew. Picture: EPA

Addis Abeba – Amhara Regional State Peace and Security Bureau chief, Desalegn Tassew, said 4,552suspects have been arrested in connection with the ongoing “rule of law operation” in the region since a week ago.

Of these, more than 1,780 are suspects who failed to discharge their public duties, including members of the regional security forces. The Bureau Chief also said “the suspects arrested also include those suspected of using social media, both inside and outside the region, “to further destabilize the region,” Desalegn said.

He told state media that efforts were underway “to ensure the peace and security of the people of the state.” and as part of the government’s efforts “in preventing illegal activities, ensuring the rule of law and ensuring public safety.” He also said that the detained individuals were suspected of implementing a mission from inside and outside the country during the military attack by Tigrayan forces in the regional state.

such arrests are not in line with the principles of human rights and are not appropriate

Daniel Bekele

In a statement yesterday, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said several people, including journalists and community activists, have been arrested in the past few days in what the federal government and state security forces have said was a coordinated rule of law operation. The Commission said it was closely monitoring the situation and knows that some of the suspects were visited by their families and brought to court at various times, while many were detained without a court order, did not appear in court, and did not receive visit from family members. “In Amhara State in particular, the Commission noted that many detainees were held far from their regular areas in irregular detention centers, making it difficult for families to identify their whereabouts.”

Daniel Bekele, Chief Commissioner of EHRC, said that the rights body was aware of the steps that the government can take to enforce law and order in various parts of the country, but “such arrests are not in line with the principles of human rights and are not appropriate.”

“In particular, federal and state security forces should refrain from arresting suspects before criminal investigations [are held[, arresting journalists for their work, and detaining people without a court order.” Daniel called on the whereabouts of all detainees to be immediately communicated to families and to be brought to justice.

Based on its authority and responsibility to monitor the situation of detainees in any place, EHRC was monitoring the situation, Daniel said and urged federal and state governments to discharged their responsibilities and cooperate with the Commission’s work. AS

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