Rights Agency says alarmed by loss of lives in Recent Protest

ADDIS ABABA – State-sponsored human rights commission said on Thursday it “is deeply alarmed” by the loss of life amid protests in Ethiopia’s Oromia region.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission or EHRC has called on authorities to prevent security forces from using excessive force.

The agency said it has confirmed killings in unrest spanning various places in the region, including Asasa, Asebot, Awoday, Bale Robe, Chiro, Dengego, Dire Teyara, Dodola, Gelemso, Ginir, Haromaya, Hirna, and Shashemene.

The deaths followed calls for protests to demonstrate against the continued detention of Oromo opposition politicians, according to the Commission.

“Authorities should ensure that the right to peaceful protest can be exercised, and law enforcement measures against anything beyond that does not exceed proportion,” said Aaron Maasho, Spokesperson of EHRC.

“Oromia is still reeling from the grim weight of tragic killings this year. These grave patterns of abuse should never be allowed to continue,” he said.

Some news reports have given varying death tolls. EHRC is gathering information from residents, witnesses, hospitals, and local administrations to corroborate the claims, its spokesperson said.

The state-sponsored commission has urged authorities at both federal and regional levels to launch an immediate inquiry.