Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) has been closely following the recent protests in Ethiopia where thousands of Ethiopians in the Amhara and Oromia regions as well as in the capital city, Addis Ababa, took to the streets demanding political reform, justice and the rule of law. In an unexceptional manner, the Ethiopian Government responded to these demands by heavy hand; killing at least 100 peaceful protesters, causing injuries to more people and jailing several hundreds.
As reported by the Amnesty International “ the worst bloodshed - which may amount to extrajudicial killings, took place in the city of Bahir Dar, where at least 30 peaceful protesters were killed in a day*.
The protests in the Amhara regions were sparked by the government’s attempt to arrest Colonel Demeke Zewdu, one of the leaders of the Wolqait Amhara Identity and Self-Determination Committee, for alleged terrorism offenses on 12 July 2016. Wolkite, which is currently an administrative district under the Tigray region, was part of Amara Region before the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) came to power in 1991. The demands to be reintegrated into the Amhara region have been unsettled for the last 25 years.
Killing of peaceful protesters in the Oromia region has been ongoing since May 2014* During the recent protest in the region killings were reported in multiple towns in the region including Ambo, Adama, Asassa, Aweday, Gimbi, Haromaya, Neqemte, Robe and Shashemene.
CREW Condemns the violence perpetrated by the Ethiopian government against its own citizens and demands for the regime: to restrain from gunning down peaceful demonstrators, to stop mass arrest of people in the wake of such demonstrations, and allow independent investigation in to the killings of demonstrators by the Ethiopian security forces since 2014.
CREW strongly supports the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein’s call for independent investigation of these incidents*. And CREW strongly condemns the reluctance of the Ethiopian government to accept the commissioner’s request. CREW demands the United Nations and the United States of America and the rest of the international community to pressure the Ethiopian Government to concede for independent investigation of the ongoing human rights crises in the country.
*Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit, peace and human rights organization created to promote the rights of Ethiopian women worldwide. Address: P.O Box 10412, Silver Spring, MD 20914, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website:www.centerforethiopianwomen.org
*See CREW’S preceding press releases at http://centerforethiopianwomen.org/news-resources/press-release/stop-the-killings-in-the-oromia-region/