Tag Archives: UN Human Rights High Commissioner

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urges combatants in Tigray to spare civilian population

24 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Ethiopia: Threat of major hostilities in Mekelle seriously imperils civilian lives – Bachelet

GENEVA (24 November 2020) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday urged the parties to the conflict in Tigray to give clear and unambiguous orders to their forces to take constant care to spare – and protect – the civilian population from the effect of the hostilities.

“The highly aggressive rhetoric on both sides regarding the fight for Mekelle is dangerously provocative and risks placing already vulnerable and frightened civilians in grave danger,” the High Commissioner said. “I fear such rhetoric will lead to further violations of international humanitarian law,” she added, expressing alarm at reports of a heavy build-up of tanks and artillery around Mekelle, the capital city of Tigray province following the Government’s issuance of a 72-hour ultimatum.

“Such rhetoric suggests possible breaches of the cardinal principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution in the conduct of hostilities that are designed to ensure the civilian population is protected.”

Responding to allegations that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is stationing itself among civilians, Bachelet stated that under international law, parties to a conflict should take all possible measures to protect the civilian population under their control from the effects of attacks, namely by avoiding, to the extent feasible, locating military objectives in densely populated areas.

“However, this does not then give the Ethiopian State carte blanche to respond with the use of artillery in densely populated areas. I remind all parties to the conflict that the obligation to respect international law is not conditional on the other party’s behavior. All parties to the conflict are bound to respect international humanitarian law and human rights law as applicable. The protection of civilians is paramount.”

In particular, the High Commissioner recalled that it is prohibited to treat as a single military objective a number of distinct military objectives located in a densely populated area.

Bachelet said she was deeply disturbed at the continuing communication blackout in Tigray province, making it very difficult for civilians to communicate with family members, and for the UN to monitor the human rights and humanitarian situation. Reports continue to emerge of arbitrary arrests and detentions, killings, as well as discrimination and stigmatization of ethnic Tigrays. More than 40,000 people have fled from Tigray province into neighbouring Sudan since 7 November.

“I implore all parties to respond positively to attempts at dialogue, and to ensure unfettered access to humanitarian assistance for those who so desperately need it, and protection and security for aid workers,” the High Commissioner said.

Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the end of his official visit to Ethiopia

27 Apr

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Addis Standard
 

“In the Oromia region last Monday, I met with the regional authorities and the traditional leaders, the Aba Gadas. While Government representatives accompanied me and my team during all the meetings, I was struck by the frank and robust expression of grievances by the Aba Gadas.”

  — UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zaid Ra’ad Al Hussein
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Impending massacres in Ethiopia, as citizens gear up for further protests via tax revolt, despite 9-month old martial law!

19 Jul

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
 
For this article, the past is its guide — Ethiopia’s tragic experiences during 2016.

There being no direct and open communication at all between society and the state, the only resource left for citizens is to go out in a mass strength to give signal of disapproval or rejection to the the powers to be.
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Fire under Ashes:                            The Ongoing Struggle for Human Rights in Ethiopia

29 Jun

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Elizabeth Fraser, Oakland Institute
 
As massive protests swept across Ethiopia last year, the dire human rights situation in the country made headlines around the world. The Financial Times described it as Ethiopia’s “Tiananmen Square moment,” and then-US Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Tom Malinowski called the government’s crackdowns on dissent “self-defeating tactics.”
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The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights calls for investigation into TPLF killings of protesters in Ethiopia – Africa sinks teeth into Rambo-esque executions

7 Sep

Editor’s Note:

TEO would be hard put to persuade about the value of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ (ACHPR) interest in being invited to investigate the TPLF killings of peaceful Ethiopian protesters. Put briefly,  we would prefer this to be the work of a more neutral and independent body(-ies).

Given the TPLF’s deceitful nature, it would jump on this offer aware that any of the African Union’s (AU) bodies are easily corruptible. While thanking the commission for its belated statement on the situation and interest in the investigation, they should be avoided at all costs.
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U.N. Human Rights High Commissioner contemplates investigations into killings in Amhara and Oromiya; those “peacefully protesting should be released promptly”

10 Aug

Editor’s Note:


    Civilized international conduct demands that the weekend massacres in Ethiopian should be taken seriously. Long before this latest one, there have been voices calling for an investigation into killings by the state and torture in Ethiopia. These were not heeded, because of which several scores of Ethiopians have been killed for expressing their dissatisfaction with the situation in the country.
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