United Nations urges once again Ethiopia to ensure independent probe of violations

Flood mitigation activities in the Amhara Region, Ethiopia. Photo: UNOCHA Ethiopia/Zelalem Letyibelu

Flood mitigation activities in the Amhara Region, Ethiopia. Photo: UNOCHA Ethiopia/Zelalem Letyibelu

19 August 2016 – Voicing concern over serious human rights violations in the Oromia and Amhara regions of Ethiopia earlier this month, the United Nations human rights chief today urged the Government to ensure access for independent observers to affected areas and to work towards opening up political and democratic reforms.

Against the backdrop of extremely alarming reports on human rights abuses during public protests over the weekend of 6-8 August, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, appealed to the Ethiopian authorities for allowing human rights experts to access to the conflict zones and evaluate the situation.

“We welcome the decision to launch an independent investigation, and we urge the Government to ensure that the investigation has a mandate to cover allegations of human rights violations since the unrest in Oromia began in November 2015,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), told reporters in Geneva.

She went on to stress that the probe should be “indeed independent, transparent, thorough and effective, with a view to establishing whether the use of excessive force occurred and with a view to bringing to justice the perpetrators of any human rights violations.”

The UN rights office is ready to assist in ensuring that the investigation is abide by international human rights standards. However, she said, it is critical to have access to areas where have been reported of ongoing arbitrary arrests, intimidation and harassment of people in the regions.

“We call on the Government to ensure that the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression are protected and that those detained for exercising these rights are promptly released,” said Ms. Shamdasani.

She further urged the Government to work towards opening up the political and democratic space, including comprehensive security sector, legislative, and institutional reforms.

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Posted by on August 20, 2016. Filed under NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to United Nations urges once again Ethiopia to ensure independent probe of violations

  1. eyob

    August 20, 2016 at 5:06 AM

    United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights, call to allow UN international observers to investigate the excessive use of force by the government’s security forces …
    Turned few days later to “We welcome the decision to launch an independent investigation, and we urge the Government to ensure that the investigation has a mandate to cover allegations of human rights violations since the unrest in Oromia began in November 2015.” Have i missed something? Are the UN observers allowed to investigate? Or is the High Commissioner for Human Rights backsliding?