News: EHRCO expresses concerns over deteriorating human rights situation in the country, urges the government to uphold, respect the law

A detention center in Gelan, a town just outside of Addis Abeba

By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12

Addis Abeba, July 23/2021 –Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) released a statement on the urgent need to improve the situation of human rights in the country. It advised the need for improvements in relation to detainment and disappearances of journalists, activists, and individuals at different times.

The council said that it was aware that some families were unable to see or know the whereabouts of their detained loved ones. ECRCO expressed dismay at its inability to follow up on the human rights conditions of arrested persons. 

The statement advised law enforcers to exercise restraint in handling people before and after arrest, urging them to abide by Article 19 of the Federal Constitution that discusses the rights of persons arrested.

EHRCO warned the Ethiopian government saying, “Unless the government investigates human rights abuses in Oromia, Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz and Tigray regions and take corrective measures, violations will only worsen.”

The Council addressed the situation of Amhara ethnics living in Oromia regional state saying, “Ethinic Amharas living in Oromia Regional state,  Horo Gudru Wolega Zone of Jarte Woreda were told to leave the area by Shane (A term used in government correspondence to refer to Oromo Liberation Army).” It further said that since July 8, 2021,  reports suggested that OLA forces have been attacking civilians in Horo Gudru Welega Zone Umuru woreda Tombe Dega Kebele. It also said that reports suggest people who reside in five kebeles (Harologo, Janjimara, Harodade, Abdi Dandi and Asa Gudina) of  Jarte Woreda abandoned their agricultural lands and possessions due to such threats.

The council also condemned the killings of three civilians of Tigrayan origin that happened on July 12, 2021 in Amhara regional state North Gondar Zone Woreta Town of Fogera Woreda. The killing happened as a result of being beaten to death according to the EHRCO report. 

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The statement went on to voice grave concern about the security situation in Benishangul Gumuz region, especially in Bulen and Dibate woredas where it said unknown armed forces attacked civilians. The council expressed its deep concern about reports of use of child soldiers in the current conflict in the Tigray region. It said, “ Such use violates the Ethiopian Constitution, the African child rights charter and United Nations Child rights charter.” AS

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