Washington D.C. — Ethiopian Advocacy Network (EAN) submitted a letter to the 35th Session of the UN Human Rights Council urging the members to support a draft resolution entitled “Situation of Human Rights in Ethiopia.”
EAN’s letter details the systematic violation of fundamental human rights, particularly freedom of expression and association, arbitrary arrest of human rights defenders, opposition leaders and attacks on civil society through the promulgation of draconian laws (the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation, Anti-Terrorism Law) effectively criminalizing internationally recognized fundamental rights.
These egregious violations, in contravention of its obligations under numerous international human rights treaties, have led to the continuous censure of the Ethiopian government for its lack of adherence to international human rights standards by respected rights groups.
The letter emphasizes the use of excessive and lethal force since November 2015 by the security forces to suppress peaceful protest in the Oromia and Amhara regions of Ethiopia that constitute 70% of Ethiopia’s more than 100 million population. It also points out the draconian state of emergency that was declared in October 2016 with sweeping restrictions that go far beyond what is permissible under international law virtually eliminating what little space there was for the peaceful expression of critical views.
Ethiopia, a founding member of the United Nations, the African Union, a current member of the Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council cannot be allowed to repeatedly flout its international obligations, to which it is a party to. As the oldest nation and the regional power in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia’s consistent failure to uphold the rule of law and play a positive role in Africa should no longer be ignored or tolerated by the international community.
The letter strongly urges the members of the United Nations Human Rights Council to support this resolution to send a bold message to Ethiopia to stop hiding its horrific human rights record from international scrutiny. As a member of both the Human Rights Council and the Security Council, it’s imperative for Ethiopia to cooperate fully
and to allow access to an international, independent, impartial UN team to conduct a transparent investigation into the use of lethal force that has resulted in the death of peaceful protesters to avert further social and political unrest.
Ethiopian Advocacy Network is a grassroots organization that was formed in January 2015 by Ethiopian-Americans, Ethiopian activists and community organizers to promote democracy, human rights, and justice in Ethiopia through advocacy, civic education and grass roots mobilization. EAN has a global presence with members in USA, Africa, Canada and Europe.