Tag Archives: amnesty international

Amnesty & Human Rights Watch take on PM Abiy Ahmed’s Nobel Peace Prize award

13 Oct

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)


Nobel Peace Prize must spur Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed towards further human rights reform

“This award recognizes the critical work Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has done to initiate human rights reforms in Ethiopia after decades of widespread repression.

“Since assuming office in April 2018, it has reformed the security forces, replaced the severely restricting charities and society law, and agreed a peace deal with neighbouring Eritrea to end two decades of hostile relations. He also helped broker an agreement between Sudan’s military leaders and the civilian opposition, bringing an end to months of protests.

“However, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s work is far from done. This award should push and motivate him to tackle the outstanding human rights challenges that threaten to reverse the gains made so far. He must urgently ensure that his government addresses the ongoing ethnic tensions that threaten instability and further human rights abuses. He should also ensure that his government revises the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation which continues to be used as a tool of repression, and holds suspected perpetrators of past human rights violations to account.

“Now more than ever Prime Minister Abiy must fully espouse the principles and values of the Nobel Peace Prize to leave a lasting human rights legacy for his country, the wider region, and the world.”

/Amnesty International


A Bittersweet Nobel Prize for Ethiopia’s Leader

The awarding of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for his efforts to achieve “peace and international cooperation” will come as bittersweet news for many in Ethiopia and neighboring countries.

Abiy has ushered in a wave of greatly needed human rights reforms during his first year in office and taken praiseworthy steps in the region. But such international acclaim may be premature.

He has released tens of thousands of political prisoners – locked up in horrific conditions by his predecessors – and initiated the reform of repressive legislation that has been used to clamp down on free speech and decimate human rights monitoring. He also invited members of formerly banned opposition groups home, and publicly acknowledged past abuses.

But at the same time there has been increasing ethnic conflicts and an ongoing breakdown in law and order across much of Ethiopia. Abiy’s government should have done more to resolve these ethnic problems. Instead it has responded to resulting large-scale displacements by coercing displaced people to return to their home areas when many still felt they were unsafe.

In the region, Abiy’s government helped to resolve the stalemate with neighboring Eritrea, signing a peace agreement. Yet many of the trickier issues around the agreement remain unsettled: Eritrea’s borders remain closed, the border between the two countries has not been demarcated, and the exodus of Eritreans fleeing the brutal restrictions imposed by their government continues. Regional tensions, notably over use of the Nile with Egypt, still simmer.

The Nobel Prize should remind Abiy, all Ethiopians, and the country’s international partners of his wide-ranging reform agenda. It should also serve as a call to action for Abiy and his government to redouble efforts to ensure the reforms have meaningful, lasting impact.

Ensuring accountability for past crimes, along with reconciliation and healing, will be key not only for dealing with Ethiopia’s legacy of abuse, but also with the heightened political and ethnic tensions and violence affecting much of the country. Abiy should also use ongoing negotiations with Eritrea to press for urgently needed rights reforms there.


Amnesty requests Ethiopia to stop the murderous Liyu Police in its Somali Region!

1 Jun

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

The Ethiopian government must immediately withdraw and disband the Liyu police unit of the Somali regional state, whose members are unlawfully killing people in neighbouring Oromia region, Amnesty International said Thursday.

Members of the unit, set up by the Somali state as a counter-terrorism special force, this week burnt down 48 homes belonging to Oromo families who were living in Somali Region, forcing them to flee to Kiro in the regional state of Oromia.

The Ethiopian authorities must immediately demobilize the Liyu unit and replace them with police that abide by international human rights law. These rogue officers must not be allowed to brutalize people at will.

Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes says: 

“The Ethiopian authorities must immediately demobilize the Liyu police and replace them with police that abide by international human rights law. These rogue officers must not be allowed to brutalize people at will.”

On 23 and 24 May the unit also attacked four neighborhoods in the Chinaksen district of East Oromia, killing five farmers and burning down around 50 homes. These attacks caused residents to flee their homes looking for safety.

“The authorities must put an end to what appears to be state-sanctioned violence. The first step is to ensure all policing in Oromia is respectful of human rights. The next is to hold those responsible for these attacks to account through thorough, impartial and independent investigation.”

In 2017, incursions into Oromia by the unit led to the deaths of hundreds and the displacement of more than one million, according to a report by Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to implement the recommendations of the 2004 referendum, which voted for a clear demarcation of the Oromia-Somali border, as a means of addressing the root causes of tensions in the region.

In Amharic from BBC Amharic:

መንግሥት ልዩ ፖሊስን እንዲበትን አምነስቲ ጠየቀ!

በሶማሌና ኦሮሚያ ክልሎች ውስጥ የሰብአዊ መብት ጥሰቶችን ይፈፅማል ያለውን የልዩ ኃይል ፖሊስን መንግሥት እንዲበትን የሰብአዊ መብት ተቆርቋሪው አምነስቲ ኢንተርናሽናል ባወጠው መግለጫ ጥሪ አቅርቧል።

አምነስቲ እንዳመለከተው በአጎራባች የኦሮሚያ ክልል ውስጥ በመግባት ግድያን ይፈፅማሉ ያለቸውን የሶማሌ ክልል ልዩ የፖሊስ ኃይልን የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት በአስቸኳይ እንዲያስወጣና እንዲበትን ጠይቋል።

በሶማሌ ክልል የፀረ-ሽብር ልዩ ኃይል ሆኖ የተቋቋመው የዚህ ቡድን አባላት በዚህ ሳምንት በሶማሌ ክልል ይኖሩ የነበሩ ሰዎችን 48 ቤቶች በማቃጠል ወደ ኦሮሚያ ክልል እንዲሸሹ ማድረጉን ጠቅሷል።

መግለጫው ጨምሮም የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት ይህን የልዩ ፖሊስ ክፍልን በአስቸኳይ በመበተን ለዓለም አቀፍ የሰብአዊ መብት ህጎች ተገዢ በሆነ የፖሊስ ኃይል እንዲተካም ጠይቋል።

የአምነስቲ ኢንተርናሽናል የምሥራቅ አፍሪካ፣ የአፍሪካ ቀንድና የታላላቅ ሃይቆች ዳይሬክተር የሆኑት ጆዋን ኒያኑኪ እንዳሉት “የልዩ ኃይሉ አባላት እንደፈለጉ በህዝብ ላይ ግፍ እንዲፈፅሙ መፈቀድ የለበትም” ብለዋል።

ባለፈው ሳምንት ልዩ ኃይሉ በምሥራቃዊ ኦሮሚያ ጭናቅሰን ወረዳ ውስጥ በሚገኙ አራት መንደሮች ላይ በፈፀመው ጥቃት 5 አርሶ አደሮች ሲገደሉ 50 የሚጠጉ ቤቶች በእሳት ተቃጥለዋል።

በዚህም ሳቢያ ነዋሪዎች ነፍሳቸውን ለማትረፍ መኖሪያቸውን ጥለው መሄዳቸውን የአምነስቲ ሪፖርት አመልክቷል።

“የመንግሥት ባለሥልጣናት ይህ ጥቃት እንዲያበቃ ማድረግ ይጠበቅባቸዋል” ያሉት ጆዋን ኒያኑኪ “ለዚህ ደግሞ የመጀመሪያው እርምጃ መሆን ያለበት ፖሊስ የሰብአዊ መብቶችን እንዲያከብር ማድረግና በጥቃቱ ተሳታፊ የሆኑትን በነፃና ገለልተኛ ምርመራ በመለየት ተጠያቂ እንዲሆኑ ማድረግ ያስፈልጋል” ብለዋል።

ልዩ የፖሊስ ኃይሉ ባለፈው ዓመት ኦሮሚያ ክልል ውስጥ በተፈፀመ ጥቃት በመቶዎች ለሚቆጠሩ ሰዎች ሞትና ከአንድ ሚሊዮን ለሚልቁ ሰዎች መፈናቀል ምክንያት መሆኑን የብሔራዊ አደጋ ስጋት ሥራ አመራር ኮሚሽን እና የተባበሩት መንግሥታት የሰብአዊ ጉዳዮች ማስተባበሪያ ያወጣው ሪፖርት ያመለክታል።

አምነስቲ ኢንተርናሽናል በማጠቃለያው በአካባቢው ላለው ውጥረት ዘላቂ መፍትሄ ለመስጠት፤ የኦሮሚያንና የሶማሌ ክልሎችን ድንበር ለይቶ ለማስቀመጥ በ1996 በተካሄደውን ህዝበ-ውሳኔ የተገኘውን ውጤት የኢትዮጵያ ባለስልጣናት ተግባራዊ እንዲያደርጉ አሳስቧል።

ይህንን ሪፖርት ተከትሎ የኢትዮጵያን መንግሥት ባለሥልጣናትን ምላሽ ለማግኘት ያደረግነው ጥረት አልተሳካም።


Ethiopian MPs’ decision to approve state of emergency disappointing and irresponsible!

2 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Amnesty International
Commenting shortly after the Ethiopian parliament approved the state of emergency declaration in full this morning, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty said:

“It is deeply disappointing and irresponsible that Ethiopia’s MPs have chosen to restrict the people’s fundamental freedoms further instead of listening to their legitimate grievances. At this critical time of heightened political tension and protests, what is needed in Ethiopia is greater respect for human rights, not less.
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An intriguing political prison fire:      Ethiopian regime accused of gunning down Kilinto political prisoners as they flee burning jail

7 Sep

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Adam Withnall, The Independent Kilinto fire: Ethiopian government accused of gunning down political prisoners as they flee burning jail

Rights groups have raised serious concerns over the fate of political prisoners held at a facility on the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa after 23 inmates died in a huge fire at the high-security complex.

While the cause of the blaze remains unknown, the Ethiopian government has admitted at least two of the prisoners were gunned down by the authorities as they fled the burning building.
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TPLF’s ‘violent intolerance’ & the ever closing political space in Ethiopia

23 May

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Adoteki Akwei, Amnesty International

Sub-Saharan Africa is facing a growing trend of evaporating political space. Non-governmental organizations are being heavily and often violently restricted, and newspapers, bloggers and other voices of dissent or criticism are being silenced or intimidated into exile.
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Yonatan Tesfaye, TPLF’s anti-terrorism law latest lamb – dumb move by an unthinking Front!

8 May

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin, The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

In my article on the question of Yonatan Tesfaye’s arrest and now charge of terrorism (Amharic) ወጣቱ ፖለቲከኛ ዮናታን ተስፋዬ በአሸባሪው የሕወሃት አስተዳደር የሽብርተኝነት ክስ ተመሰረተበት! ለኢትዮጵያዉያን አሳዛኝና አሳፋሪ ዕለት! የሕወሃት ግፍ መች ይሆን የሚያበቃው?, I tried to show that the TPLF has been suffering from the arrogance of power, when it could not even feed the nation, a fifith of 100 million people suffering from hunger and children from malnutrition.
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ETHIOPIA: AI’s 2014-2015 report – all one needs to read to understand why this police state is being rocked by mass uprisings now!

18 Feb

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
AI report 2014/2015

During this period, freedom of expression continued to be subject to serious restrictions. The government was hostile to suggestions of dissent, and often made pre-emptive arrests to prevent dissent from manifesting. Independent media publications were subject to further attack. Peaceful protesters, journalists, and members of opposition political parties were arbitrarily arrested. The Charities and Societies Proclamation continued to obstruct the work of human rights organizations. Arbitrary detention and torture and other ill-treatment were widespread, often used as part of a system for silencing actual or suspected dissent.
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Int’l human rights groups urge international community to address protester deaths in Ethiopia

15 Jan

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
Press release

Several human rights and civil society groups called on the international community Thursday to address the killing 140 protesters in Ethiopia’s Oromia region. Amnesty International (AI) said that the protests over government plans to expand the capital of Addis Ababa into the region began peacefully, but, as they increased, military forces began to use excessive force against the protesters, labeling them “terrorists.”
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