EHRC Launches its First Human Rights Situation Report on Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published its first annual human rights situations in the country that, it said, states issues requiring urgent solutions and encouraging measures taken in the just concluded Ethiopian fiscal year.

In a report submitted to the parliament, the commission said the issues raised in the report were identified through its monitoring, investigation, studies and other activities carried out during the 2021/22 fiscal year, which concluded on Thursday.

Underlining that the current context in the country makes for fast-changing and developing factors and circumstances, the Commission in its report notes several human rights violations have been committed in the past twelve months. 

The report is a reminder that “conflicts and widespread attacks against civilians that Ethiopia finds itself in at this time, political solutions are an inevitable part of sustainable solutions,” EHRC Chief Commissioner Daniel Bekele notes in his foreword to the report.

The report, however, gives much attention to the violence that happened in the context of the northern Ethiopia conflict.

According to EHRC, the report details a number of grave human rights violations committed both by state and non-state actors in the context of conflict that resulted in widespread deaths, psychosocial and physical injury, sexual and gender-based violence.

The violences have also caused displacement and destruction of property, targeting civilians, including women, children, older persons and persons with disability and “carried out in extreme brutality and cruelty”, the commission said.  

“All parties to the conflicted have committed serious international human rights and humanitarian law violations against civilians,” the EGRC said. 

In areas where the conflict took place, the commission said the right to live, the right to security of person, the right to justice, the right not to be “subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and/or punishment have been violated” by government forces, Tigray forces and other armed groups. 

Although a large number of victims of these violations are civilians, the commission said captured members of parties to these conflicts have also been subjected to these violations.

The detainees, it said, have been subject to “unlawful treatment, extended pre-trial detention, and beatings in some police stations and irregular places of detention.” 

In Afar, Amhara, and Tigray regions where the conflict took place, interruption of basic services, the destruction of health and education facilities as well as private property.

The Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia Report also says non-state actors are “responsible for large-scale human rights violations”. 

The Commission said the monitoring and investigation work in the context of the war in Northern Ethiopia and conflicts in other parts of the country, found that armed groups, non-organized groups, and individuals have carried out ethnic or religious motivated killings.

These actors have also carried out physical injury, forced displacement, and destruction or looting of property against civilians, according to the report. 

The report also covers the issue of freedom of opinion, thought, expression, and the right to seek information.

It says the Commission’s monitoring work found that at various times between the months of July 2021 and May 2022, 54 media personnel, including 15 reported to be in detention in Tigray region, have been arrested and detained for a period ranging from days to months.  

In parts of the Oromia and Somali regions, the report says the drought has stretched the capacity of government and non-government organizations to provide humanitarian assistance.

Over 4 million internally displaced persons still await durable solutions and depend on humanitarian assistance, according to the report.

The report also covers an overall assessment of the National Elections that took place during the concluded fiscal year, and its findings based on the Commission’s work in handling individual complaints, the situation of persons deprived of their liberty and held in irregular places of detention, police stations, and prisons.  

In his foreword to the report, Commissioner Daniel Bekele wrote that the report is bound to have temporal, geographic, and human rights issue coverage limitations.

“Though this first annual human rights situation report does not purport to be an exhaustive list of incidents of human rights violations,” Daniel Bekele said, “it provides a comprehensive overview of human rights concerns that require immediate and urgent attention. 

“As such, and with the recommendations it puts forth, the report is a useful tool for federal and regional governments, in particular, to review and take corrective measures in their respective area of work,” said the Chief Commissioner who also indicated that the report also aims to contribute to the work of both national and international organizations.

2 thoughts on “EHRC Launches its First Human Rights Situation Report on Ethiopia

Comments are closed.