Joint Probe into Alleged Violations of Human Rights in Tigray Concludes

ADDIS ABABA –  Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Friday said the joint investigation, involving the UN Human Rights Office,  into alleged violations of human rights, humanitarian and refugee law committed by all parties to the conflict in Tigray has concluded its field work phase.

In a statement today, the EHRC says the two will publish a final report on 1 November 2021.

The joint investigation team conducted investigations in Mekelle, Wukro, Samre, Alamata, Bora, Maichew, Dansha, Maikadra, Humera, Gondar, and Bahir Dar, as well as in Addis Ababa between 16 May and 20 August this year.

The team carried out more than 200 interviews with victims and witnesses, regional and national authorities, civil society organisations, religious institutions, medical and judicial authorities and humanitarian agencies operating in Tigray, according to the statement.

The team also examined documents, videos, photos and other material, it says.

“While the mission was unable to access some locations due to rapidly evolving security concerns and other difficulties, it spoke to victims and witnesses who fled from these areas,” the statement claims.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is expected deliver an update to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, 13 September 2021 on the situation of human rights in the Tigray region and on progress made in the context of the joint investigation, as mandated by the Council in July 2021.

Her statement will be followed by an Enhanced Interactive Dialogue, including a speech by the EHRC’s Chief Commissioner Daniel Bekele, and other speakers, according to EHRC.

“In spite of numerous security and logistical constraints, our joint team has managed to carry out a robust, impartial, independent investigation that will provide a faithful account of the human rights situation in Tigray and should contribute to accountability and redress for victims of the serious violations we have documented,” Bachelet said in the statement.

According to EHRC’s chief commissioner Bekele, the joint investigation team had carried out its work in line with commonly agreed terms of reference, methods of work, a deployment and an information collection plan.

“We were always guided by the principles of do-no-harm, independence, impartiality, transparency, objectivity, confidentiality, integrity, sound standard of proof and consistency in applying a victim-centred approach,” Bekele said.

he team is currently analysing the full range of information collected.

The final report, which will include the findings, conclusions and recommendations, will be issued on 1 November 2021.

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