By William Davison
October 27, 2014 (Bloomberg Business Week) –Ethiopia’s government illegally detained at least 5,000 members of the country’s most populous ethnic group, the Oromo, over the past four years as it seeks to crush political dissent, Amnesty International said.
Victims include politicians, students, singers and civil servants, sometimes only for wearing Oromo traditional dress, or for holding influential positions within the community, the London-based advocacy group said in a report today. Most people were detained without charge, some for years, with many tortured and dozens killed, it said. Read more…
October 23, 2014
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) is highly pleased with the news that Minor Abde Jemal has been release from the Bishari Jail in Mettu, Iluu Abbabor Province; and has re-united with his parents in Bilo Nopha. According to information obtained by HRLHA through its correspondents, Minor Abde Jemal was released from prison after being taken to a court in Mettu, and his prison term was reduced from four years down to three months.
HRLHA believes that this is an outcome of the efforts of local, regional, and international human rights agencies, including HRLHA (http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14955), who condemned the imposition of such a tough sanction against Minor Abde Jemal and demanded its reversal as well as different media organizations who echoed those outcries by the various human rights groups. However, HRLHA would like to express its appreciation to the Ethiopian Government, at both federal and regional levels, for the immediate and positive response to the strong reactions from the various groups of human rights advocacy and the media. HRLHA also calls up on the Ethiopian Government to adapt to such cultures of respecting and protecting fundamental rights of its citizens, regardless of their ages, gender, religious, and/or ethnic backgrounds, through abiding by the provisions of both constitutional and legal documents of the Country as well as the international human rights standardsthat it has ratified. Read more…
HRLHA – URGENT ACTION October 14, 2014
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) strongly condemns the sentencing of Abde Jemal, a fourteen-year old minor, in adults’ court to four years in prison and $700.00 Birr fine for allegedly inciting people to political violence. According to HRLHA’s correspondents, Abde Jemal was arrested by the security agents while tending his parents’ cattle out in the field. HRLHA has learnt that Abde Jemal was severely beaten up (in other words, physically tortured) following his arrest by members of the security force in order to coerce him into confessing in court to the alleged crime. To begin with, this was allowed to happen despite the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1990, to which Ethiopia is a signatory, and which clearly states under Article 37(a) that State Parties shall ensure that “No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”; and additionally guarantees under article 40, sub-article 2(a) that every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law should … “Not be compelled to give testimony or to confess guilt.” Read more…
September 30, 2014 (Amnesty) — A year on from the Lampedusa shipwrecks, which claimed more than 500 lives, a new report by Amnesty International highlights how the shameful inaction of European Union (EU) countries has contributed to a spiralling death toll with thousands of refugees and migrants losing their lives in a desperate bid to reach European shores.
Amnesty International’s report, Lives adrift: Refugees and migrants in peril in the central Mediterranean, details the findings of recent visits to Italy and Malta, including a research trip on an Italian Navy vessel. Interviews with survivors of shipwrecks, experts and authorities expose the reality of the dangers faced by those fleeing war, persecution and poverty, and the pitiful response of most European states. Read more…
Ethiopia: Systemic human rights concerns demand action by both Ethiopia and the Human Rights Council
AI Index: AFR 25/005/2014
22 September 2014
Systemic human rights concerns demand action by both Ethiopia and the Human Rights Council
Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcome on Ethiopia
With elections coming up in May 2015, urgent and concrete steps are needed to reduce violations of civil and political rights in Ethiopia.� Considering the scale of violations associated with general elections in 2005 and 2010, Amnesty International is deeply concerned that Ethiopia has rejected more than 20 key recommendations on freedom of expression and association relevant to the free participation in the elections and the monitoring and reporting on these. These include in particular recommendations to amend the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, which continues to be used to silence critical voices and stifle dissent, and recommendations to remove severe restrictions on NGO funding in the Charities and Societies Proclamation.� The independent journalists and bloggers arrested just days before Ethiopia’s review by the UPR Working Group in May 2014 have since been charged with terrorism offences. Four opposition party members were arrested in July on terror accusations, and, in August, the publishers of five magazines and one newspaper were reported to be facing similar charges. Read more…
Statement from HRLHA
September 21, 2014
The UN Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Ethiopia on September 19, 2014. On that date, Ethiopia was given 252 recommendations by the UN Human Rights Council member States to improve human rights infringements in the country, based on the general human rights situation assessment made to Ethiopia on May 2014 at UPR.
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa welcomes the adoption of the outcome of the UPR on Ethiopia and appreciates the majority of the UN Human Rights Council member states’ recognition that one of their members, Ethiopia, has committed gross human rights abuses in its own country contrary to its responsibility to protect and promote human rights globally. Most of the Recommendations the Ethiopian Government received on September 19, 2014 were similar to the 2009 recommendations that were given to the same country during the first round of UPR human rights situation assessment in Ethiopia. This proves that the human rights situation in Ethiopia continues to deteriorate. Read more…
AU soldiers and sexual abusers are from: Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Sierra Leone.
September 8, 2014, Nairobi (Human Rights Watch) – Soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have sexually abused and exploited vulnerable Somali women and girls on their bases in Mogadishu, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Troop-contributing countries, the African Union (AU), and donors to AMISOM should urgently address these abuses and strengthen procedures inside Somalia to seek justice.
The 71-page report, “‘The Power These Men Have Over Us’: Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by African Union Forces in Somalia,” documents the sexual exploitation and abuse of Somali women and girls on two AMISOM bases in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, since 2013. The AU soldiers, relying on Somali intermediaries, have used a range of tactics, including humanitarian aid, to coerce vulnerable women and girls into sexual activity. They have also raped or otherwise sexually assaulted women who were seeking medical assistance or water at AMISOM bases. Human Rights Watch interviewed 21 women and girls who described being raped or sexually exploited by Ugandan or Burundian military personnel serving with the AU forces. Read more…
HRLHA Urgent Action
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 06, 2014
The human rights abuses against Oromo Students in different universities have continued unabated over the past six months- more than a hundred Oromo students were extra-judicially wounded or killed, while thousands were jailed by a special squad: the “Agazi” force Read more…
HRLHA – Press Release
August 27, 2014
While fresh arrests and detentions, kidnappings and disappearances of Oromo nationals have continued in different parts of the regional state of Oromo following the April-May crackdown of peaceful demonstrators, court rulings over the cases of some of the earlier detainees by courts of the regional state are being rejected by political agents of the governing TPLF/EPRDF Party. The renewed violence by government forces against Oromo nationals started particularly following what was termed as “Lenjii Siyaasaa” (literally meaning “political training) that has targeted Oromo Students of higher educational institutions and has been going on in the past two weeks in different parts of Oromia. Read more…
Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA)
26th Session of United Nations Human Rights Council
Geneva, Palais des Nations,
Presented By :Garoma B. Wakessa : Executive Director of HRLHA
June 19, 2014
Ethiopia: Gross Violations of Human Rights and an intractable conflict
Introduction: It is common in democratic countries around the world for people to express their grievances/ dissatisfactions and complaints against their governments by peaceful demonstrations and assemblies. Read more…
August 27, 2014
Fleeing from abuse in Ethiopia and seeking refuge in Kenya, Djibouti, Somaliland, South Africa and Egypt, 187 refugees have described in detail, during hour-long interviews how they and their close families were persecuted. Read more…
(Advocacy for Oromia, 12 August 2014) — The Human Rights Concert for Oromia was held in Ascot Vale, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, on August 9, 2014.
Bonsen Dhabasa, 10 years old boy who was six months old when his father was arrested; five years old when his mother was imprisoned presented his memoir of persecution account on this Human Rights for Oromia concert in Melbourne.
This is our Human Rights Concert. The people coming together as one and uniting against a common enemy! Corrupt power. We are the voice of the people! This is dedicated to those suffering under suppression and Human Rights Abuses. The people on the ground who are treated like collateral damage by those who have vested interests and no concern for human values or human rights! Read more…
Obama Should Press African Leaders to End Repression
August 5, 2014, Washington, DC (HRW) – US President Barack Obama should ensure that human rights concerns are a major focus of the US-Africa Leaders Summit, Human Rights Watch said today. Rights concerns should not be relegated to meetings in the margins of the summit. The theme of the August 4-6, 2014 summit in Washington, DC, is “Investing in Our Future.”
The summit will host some 45 African heads of state, at least a dozen of whom lead repressive governments that have imprisoned journalists, human rights defenders, and anti-corruption campaigners. Many have approved laws that stifle freedom of expression and used national security, defamation, and anti-terrorism laws to prosecute independent writers, protesters, and activists who criticize government policy. Read more…
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Office of the Prime Minister
P.O. Box 1031
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
24 July 2014
Re: Detained Journalists and Bloggers
Dear Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn,
We write to you to express our grave concern regarding the terrorism charges laid against seven bloggers associated with the “Zone 9” website and three independent journalists in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights—which both expressly protect the right to freedom of expression. We therefore urge your government to fulfill its obligations under international law and release all individuals who have been arbitrarily detained in violation of their fundamental rights. Read more…
July 21, 2014 (Amnesty International) — On 17 July 2014, seven members of the Zone 9 blogging collective and three independent journalists were formally charged with terrorism offences and ‘Outrages against the Constitution’. Amnesty International considers the detained bloggers and journalists to be prisoners of conscience, imprisoned for peacefully exercising their freedom of expression without using or advocating violence or hatred, and calls for their immediate and unconditional release, and for the charges to be dropped against all of the accused. Read more…
Politically Motivated Charges Show Misuse of Terrorism Law
(Nairobi, July 19, 2014) – The Ethiopian government should immediately drop politically motivated charges brought against 10 bloggers and journalists on July 17, 2014, under the country’s deeply flawed anti-terrorism law, Human Rights Watch said today.
The Ethiopian authorities arrested six of the bloggers and three journalists on April 25 and 26. They have been detained in Maekelawi, the Federal Police Crime Investigation Sector in Addis Ababa. The court charged the nine with having links to banned opposition groups and trying to violently overthrow the government, local media reported. A tenth blogger, who was not in Ethiopia at the time of the arrests, was charged in absentia. Read more…