Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian Human Rights Council, (EHRCO), a human rights advocate group, said three of its human rights experts and a driver who were on assignment to monitor complaints received from individuals whose houses are being demolished by authorities over the past days in Addis Abeba, were detained by the police while on duty.
The rights group said in a statement on Thursday that it was unable to locate the exact whereabouts of its experts until it was confirmed later that they were detained at Alemgena 02 Police Station.
Deputy director of the council Tesfaye Gemechu confirmed to Addis Standard on Friday that the human rights workers and the driver remain detained at the police station.
The statement said EHRCO’s human rights experts are facing various threats and pressures from government securities, which it called “an illegal act but also an impediment to the realization of EHRCO’s human rights vision and activities”.
“EHRCO strives for the respect of Human Rights, but this type of illegal act … is being done to prevent its Human Rights experts from working for Human Rights protection and intimidating them is not acceptable” the statement added.
The rights group urged the government to refrain from committing illegal arrests and various types of pressures and to immediately release its Human Rights workers.
Videos and pictures being received by Addis Standard show demolished houses in different places inside and on the outskirts of Addis Abeba over the past days. Neither City administration nor police issued a statement about the ongoing widespread demolition activities leaving thousands on the streets. AS