Press Statement

September 02, 2016

The Association of Human Rights in Ethiopia (AHRE) expresses deep concern over the Ethiopian Government’s continued use of force against protesters in both Amhara and Oromia region. AHRE calls on the Ethiopian authorities to immediately stop  the use of excessive, unnecessary  and lethal  force by security forces against protesters in these regions and elsewhere in Ethiopia. AHRE also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of journalists, human rights defenders, political opposition leaders and thousands of protesters who were arbitrarily detained during and after the protests.

Local and international human rights organizations have reported that around 600 demonstrators have been killed in both regions. Since December 2015 in Oromia region alone, more than 500 have been killed. The intensified and widespread protests in several cities and towns of Northern Amhara region have cost the lives of dozens of protestors. During the three days  of protest, 5-7 August 2016, around 100 were killed and many others were wounded by security forces in various locations of the Amhara and Oromia regions.

Another round of clashes broke out on Monday, 29 August 2016 after a three-day ‘stay at home’ protest in Gondar and Gojjam. According to local sources, in the last four days more than 70 protesters have been killed and many others sustained injuries by security forces’ live bullets in different cities and towns in Northern Amhara region.

AHRE  has received reports and gathered the following information from local sources.

  • From 29 August 2016 to 1 September 2016, in Gondar, at least 11 people were killed and many others injured. In Simada town many protestors injured. 7 people, including 4 security personnel killed in Debark Eight people were injured in Dur Bete town. Ten people were killed in Metema town and many others were also wounded. At least 20 people were killed in Amba-Girogis town and 14 people were killed in the town of Gayint. At least 20 people were killed in Debre Tabor wereda.
  • On 30 August 2016, it is reported that 4 protestors were killed in Bahir Dar and many others were wounded. The protest has intensified to several cities and towns in Gojjam. The authorities have also arbitrarily arrested thousands of people throughout Amhara region and according to AHRE’s sources those detained in different military camps are being held without charge and without access to family members’ visitation or legal representation.
  • Since August 30, 2016 hundreds of residents of Metema town and other cities in Gonder have been displaced during and after the protest for fear of being targeted by security forces.

AHRE urges the Ethiopian authority to:

  • Immediately cease the use of excessive and unnecessary lethal force by security forces against protesters in Amhara and Oromia regions;
  • immediately and unconditionally release all protesters, human rights defenders, journalists and political leaders who were arbitrarily detained during and in the aftermath of the protests;
  • ensure that those responsible for human rights violations are prosecuted and held accountable for their action;
  • facilitate access for international human rights monitoring bodies including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to conduct thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigations into the ongoing human rights violations in Amhara and Oromia regions.

For further information, please contact:

[email protected], +32 486 336 367, Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia (AHRE)

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