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HRW: Oromia: Ethiopia: No Let Up in Crackdown on Protests Killings, Detention of Protesters Enter Fourth Month February 22, 2016

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Ethiopia: No Let Up in Crackdown on Protests

Killings, Detention of Protesters Enter Fourth Month

By Human Rights Watch, 21 February 2016

(Nairobi) – Ethiopian security forces are violently suppressing the largely peaceful protests in the Oromia region that began in November 2015. Almost daily accounts of killings and arbitrary arrests have been reported to Human Rights Watch since 2016 began.

Security forces, including military personnel, have fatally shot scores of demonstrators. Thousands of people have been arrested and remain in detention without charge. While the frequency of protests appears to have decreased in the last few weeks, the crackdown continues.

Protesters in Oromia region, Ethiopia.

Protesters in Oromia region, Ethiopia, December 2015.

“Flooding Oromia with federal security forces shows the authorities’ broad disregard for peaceful protest by students, farmers and other dissenters,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The government needs to rein in the security forces, free anyone being held wrongfully, and hold accountable soldiers and police who used excessive force.”

The Ethiopian government has said that the situation in Oromia is largely under control following the government’s retraction on January 12 of the proposed “Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan.” The controversial proposal to expand the municipal boundaries of the capital, Addis Ababa, into farmland in Oromia sparked the initial demonstrations.

The plan’s cancellation did not halt the protests however, and the crackdown continued throughout Oromia. In late January 2016, Human Rights Watch interviewed approximately 60 protesters and other witnesses from various parts of the Oromia region in December and January who described human rights violations during the protests, some since mid-January. They said that security forces have shot randomly into crowds, summarily killed people during arrests, carried out mass roundups, and tortured detainees.

Women mourn during the funeral ceremony of a primary school teacher who family members said was shot dead by military forces during protests in Oromia, Ethiopia in December 2015. December 17, 2015.

Women mourn during the funeral ceremony of a primary school teacher who family members said was shot dead by military forces during protests in Oromia, Ethiopia in December 2015. December 17, 2015.

While there have been some reports of violence during the protests, including the destruction of some foreign-owned farms and looting of some government buildings, most of the protests since November have been peaceful. On February 12, federal security forces fired on a bus after a wedding, killing four people, provoking further protests. A February 15 clash between federal security forces and armed men believed to be local police or militias, resulted in the deaths of seven security officers, according to the government.

On January 10, security forces threw a grenade at students at Jimma University in western Oromia, injuring dozens, eyewitnesses reported. Multiple witnesses told Human Rights Watch that security forces stormed dormitories at Jimma University on January 10 and 11, with mass arrests and beatings of Oromo students.

Security forces have arrested students, teachers, government officials, businesspeople, opposition politicians, healthcare workers, and people who provide assistance or shelter to fleeing students. Because primary and secondary school students in Oromia were among the first to protest, many of those arrested have been children, under age 18.

Security forces harassing students in Oromia, January 2016.

Security forces harassing students in Oromia, January 2016.

“They walked into the compound and shot three students at point-blank range,” one 17-year-old student said describing security force reaction to students chanting against the master plan. “They were hit in the face and were dead.”

Human Rights Watch spoke to 20 people who had been detained since the protests began on November 12, none of whom had been taken before a judge. Fourteen people said they were beaten in detention, sometimes severely. Several students said they were hung up by their wrists while they were whipped. An 18-year-old student said he was given electric shocks to his feet. All the students interviewed said that the authorities accused them of mobilizing other students to join the protests. Several women who were detained alleged that security officers sexually assaulted and otherwise mistreated them in detention.

The descriptions fit wider patterns of torture and ill-treatment of detainees that Human Rights Watch and other rights groups have documented in Oromia’s many official and secret detention facilities. Numerous witnesses and former detainees said that security forces are using businesses and government buildings in West Shewa and Borana zones as makeshift detention centers.

At time of writing, some schools and universities remain closed throughout Oromia because the authorities have arrested teachers and closed facilities to prevent further protests, or students do not attend as a form of protest or because they fear arrest. Many students said they were released from detention on the condition that they would not appear in public with more than one other individual, and several said they had to sign a document making this commitment as a condition for their release.

Human Rights Watch has not been able to verify the total numbers of people killed and arrested given restrictions on access and independent reporting in Ethiopia. Activists allege that more than 200 people have been killed since November 12, based largely on material collated from social media videos, photos, and web posts. Available information suggests that several thousand people have been arrested, many of whose whereabouts are unknown, which would be a forcible disappearance.

Human Rights Watch has documented 12 additional killings previously unreported. Most of these occurred in Arsi and Borana Zones in southern Oromia, where protests have also been taking place but have received less attention than elsewhere. This suggests that the scale of the protests and abuses across Oromia may be greater than what has been reported, Human Rights Watch said.

The Ethiopian government’s pervasive restrictions on independent civil society groups and media have meant that very little information is coming from affected areas. However, social media contains photos and videos of the protests, particularly from November and December.

The Oromia Media Network (OMN) has played a key role in disseminating information throughout Oromia during the protests. OMN is a diaspora-based television station that relays content, primarily in the Afan Oromo language, via satellite, and recently started broadcasting on shortwave radio. The Ethiopian government has reportedly jammed OMN 15 times since it began operations in 2014, in contravention of international regulations. Two business owners told Human Rights Watch they were arrested for showing OMN in their places of business. Federal police destroyed satellites dishes that were receiving OMN in many locations. Students said they were accused of providing videos for social media and of communicating information to the OMN. Arrests and fear of arrest has resulted in less information on abuses coming out of Oromia over the last month.

The Ethiopian government should end the excessive use of force by the security forces, free everyone detained arbitrarily, and conduct an independent investigation into killings and other security force abuses, Human Rights Watch said. Those responsible for serious rights violations should be appropriately prosecuted and victims of abuses should receive adequate compensation.

On January 21, the European Parliament passed a strong resolution condemning the crackdown. There has been no official statement from the United Kingdom, and the United States has not condemned the violence, instead focusing on the need for public consultation and dialogue in two statements. Otherwise, few governments have publicly raised concerns about the government’s actions. As two of Ethiopia’s most influential partners, the United Kingdom and the United States should be doing more to halt the violent crackdown and to call for an independent investigation into the abuses, Human Rights Watch said.

“Ethiopia’s donor countries have responded tepidly, if at all, to the killing of scores of protesters in Oromia,” Lefkow said. “They should stop ignoring or downplaying this shocking brutality and call on the government to support an independent investigation into the killings and other abuses.”

For additional information and accounts from eyewitnesses and victims, please see below.

Student protests in Oromia began on November 12, 2015, in Ginchi, a small town 80 kilometers southwest of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, when authorities sought to clear a forest for an investment project. The protests soon spread throughout the Oromia region and broadened to include concerns over the proposed expansion of the Addis Ababa municipal boundary, known as the “Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan.” Farmers and others joined the protest movement as the protests continued into December.

Many protesters allege that the government’s violent response and the rising death toll changed the focus of the protests to the killing and arrest of protesters and decades of historic Oromo grievances came to the forefront. Oromia is home to most of Ethiopia’s estimated 35 million Oromo, the country’s largest ethnic group. Many Oromo feel marginalized and discriminated against by successive Ethiopian governments. Ethnic Oromo who express dissent are often arrested and tortured or otherwise ill-treated in detention, accused of belonging to the Oromo Liberation Front, which has waged a limited armed struggle against the government and which parliament has designated a terrorist organization.

On December 16, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that the government “will take merciless legitimate action against any force bent on destabilizing the area.” The same day, the government communication affairs office minister, Getachew Reda, said that “an organized and armed terrorist force aiming to create havoc and chaos has begun murdering model farmers, public leaders and other ethnic groups residing in the region.” Since that time, federal security forces, including the army and the federal police, have led the law enforcement response in Oromia.

On January 12, the ruling coalition’s Oromia affiliate, the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), announced on state television that the “Addis Ababa Master Plan” would be cancelled. While the decision was an unprecedented change of policy, people Human Rights Watch interviewed suggest that there has been confusion over the actual status of the plan and whether government will follow through with the cancellation.

After the Addis Ababa master plan had originally been announced in 2014, protests occurred throughout Oromia, which security forces dispersed using live ammunition, killing at least several dozen people. Hundreds were arrested. Many of the arrested remain in custody without charge. Most of the approximately 25 students that Human Rights Watch interviewed from the 2014 protests who had been detained alleged torture and other ill-treatment. Many formerly detained students have not been permitted to return to their universities. On December 2, 2015, five Oromo students were convicted under the counterterrorism law for their role in the 2014 protests. There has been no government investigation into the use of excessive and lethal force during the 2014 protests.

Summary Killings, Unnecessary Lethal Force
In the early weeks of the 2015 protests, security forces who responded to the demonstrations were largely Oromia regional police, who used teargas against protesters, although with some incidents involving live ammunition. Many of the killings initially reported occurred after dark when security forces went house-to-house searching for protesters. They killed some students who tried to flee and others in scuffles during arrests, while the exact circumstances of many deaths are unknown.

Under international human rights standards, law enforcement officials may only use lethal force in self-defense or to prevent an imminent threat to another’s life.

After a December 16 announcement by the prime minister that the government would “take merciless legitimate action against any force bent on destabilizing the area,” witnesses said federal police and military forces were deployed in more parts of Oromia alongside the regional police. Many protesters alleged that the federal police and soldiers fired into crowds.

Wako – a 17-year-old protester from West Shewa whose name, along with others, has been changed for his protection, described the change:

During the first protest [in mid-November], the Oromia police tried to convince us to go home. We refused so they broke it up with teargas and arrested many. Several days later we had another protest. This time the [federal police] had arrived. They fired many bullets into the air. When people did not disperse they fired teargas, and then in the confusion we heard the sounds of more bullets and students started falling next to me. My friend [name withheld] was killed by a bullet. He wasn’t targeted, they were just shooting randomly into the crowd.

Gudina, a 16-year-old Grade 10 student from Arsi Negelle, described the authorities’ response to a protest in early December:

All the schools got together and took to the streets. As we protested, teargas was thrown, we kept marching and then from behind us we heard bullets, many students were hit and fell screaming. One very young student from my school I saw had been shot in throat and blood was pouring. I have dreams every night of that student.

Protesters from Arsi, West Shewa, Borana, and East Wollega zones all described similar events in which security forces, predominantly federal police, shot into crowds with live ammunition, especially since mid-December. They gave little or no warning about using teargas and live ammunition.

Three high school students from Arsi who were interviewed separately described an incident at their school. Kuma, a 17-year-old student, said:

We heard a Grade 6 student was killed in [neighboring village]. To show our solidarity we decided to protest. When the different classes came together and started marching toward the government office, security forces moved toward us. They threw teargas, and then we heard the sound of gunfire. My friend [name withheld] was shot in the chest, I saw him go down and bleeding. We ran away and I never looked back. His mother told me later he had been killed. He was 17 years old.

Security forces entered a school compound near Shashemene apparently to discourage their participation in a planned protest. Gameda, a 17-year-old Grade 9 student, said:

We had planned to protest. At 8 a.m., Oromia police came into the school compound. They arrested four students [from Grades 9-11], the rest of us were angry and started chanting against the police. Somebody threw a stone at the police and they quickly left and came back an hour later with the federal police. They walked into the compound and shot three students at point-blank range. They were hit in the face and were dead. They took the bodies away. They held us in our classrooms for the rest of the morning, and then at noon they came in and took about 20 of us including me.

Arbitrary Arrests, Detention
Several dozen people told Human Rights Watch about friends and colleagues who had been arrested without a valid basis, including many whose whereabouts remain unknown. Fifteen protesters from various parts of Oromia described their own arrests. Usually in the evening following a daytime protest, security forces would go door-to-door arresting students, including many who had not participated, including an 8-year-old in the Borana zone on January 9. They primarily targeted men and boys, but many women and girls were also arrested. Those arrested were taken to police stations, military barracks, and makeshift detention centers.

Kuma, a Grade 7 student from Borana zone, was arrested in early December, held for five days in an unknown location, and beaten with a wooden stick:

They said to me “Why were you in the demonstration? This means you do not like the government. Why? We do good for you.” Then they kept saying we had relations with the OLF [Oromo Liberation Front, which the government considers to be a terrorist group]. What does demonstrating have to do with the OLF? I was released after signing a paper that I would not go in public with more than one person. Many people in our town were released after signing this paper. Several days later there was another protest, I didn’t go, but knew I would be arrested again. I sat at home hearing gunshots all day long hoping I didn’t know any of those that would be killed.

Gameda, a Grade 7 student, said he was arrested at his school compound on the day of a planned protest:

For 10 days I was held at the police station. For the first three days, they would beat me each night on the back and legs with a wooden stick and ask me about who was behind the protests and whether I was a member of the OLF. I was released and several weeks later the protests started again in our town. They arrested me again. Same beatings, same questions. My family bribed the police and I was released.

The authorities have imposed collective punishment on people deemed to have been helping protesters. Lelisa, a woman who assisted students fleeing the security forces in Arsi in early December, said:

I wasn’t at the protests but I heard gunfire all day long and into the night. Students were running away and hiding themselves. Ten students came to me and asked for help so I hid them from the police. The police were going door-to-door at night arresting students. They came to my house, arrested all the boys and I convinced them that the three girls were my daughters. Then an hour later they came back and arrested my husband. They beat him in front of me, when I begged them not to kill him they kicked me and hit me with the butt of their gun. They took him away. I have heard nothing from him since.

Negasu, an owner of a private school, said he was arrested because students at his school were involved in the protest:

I owned a private school in [location withheld]. The students protested but the police did not break it up violently, they just filmed it and then arrested many people at night. Four of the protesters were from my school. So the police came at night and arrested me and took me to a military camp [name withheld]. For five days I was held in a dark hole by myself. It was freezing and they did not feed me for two days. I was beaten each night and accused of giving money to opposition groups, to the Oromo Federalist Congress and to OLF. They also accused me of posting videos to social media and sending to OMN. They just make things up. They closed my school and froze my bank account. They took my house also. Now I have nothing and the students are either going through what I did in detention or are not able to go to school because it’s been closed.

Students who were perceived to be vocal or had family histories of opposing government were particularly at risk. Lencho, 25, said:

I was known to be vocal and was a leader among the students. My father was known to oppose the government. I did not even participate in the protests because of fear but I was identified as one of the mobilizers. I was arrested, and when I got to the police station I saw local government officials, a local Oromo artist [singer], my teacher, and all of the outspoken students of our high school. They were arresting those that they thought were influential. I don’t even think any of them were in the protests because of fear.

Prominent Oromo intellectuals, including senior members of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), a registered political party, have also been arrested. On December 23, Deputy Chairman Bekele Gerba was arrested at his home and taken to Addis Ababa’s Maekelawi prison, where torture and other ill-treatment have been documented. On January 22, he appeared in court, and prosecutors were granted an additional 28 days for investigation, suggesting he is being investigated under the abusive Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. Bekele has been a moderate voice in Oromia politics and a staunch advocate for non-violence.

In addition to those perceived to be actively involved in the protests, security forces have arrested influential people, including prominent Oromo businessman, teachers, professors, and numerous singers and artists. One teacher said:

The students protested. At night they came and arrested many of them, my students were calling me all night to tell me the police were at their door. Then I heard that most of the teachers had been arrested, too. I was away from town at the time. Then the woreda[district] administrator called and told me I was to be held responsible for my student’s behavior since I did not talk them out of it. I had already been in trouble because I did not attend a workshop at the school on the master plan and how we were to convince students it was good for them.

A well-known Oromo singer, now living in exile, said:

I released a song on Youtube [in December] that spoke about the protests and the need for students to stop the silence and speak out about the abuses our people face. I had been arrested three times previously for my songs. My songs have always focused on Oromo history and culture but I was always careful for the songs not to be seen as political in any way. But they arrest you anyway. After my third detention, I stopped censoring myself and spoke openly through my music. Hours after my song was released, I got word from the local administrator that I was to be arrested so I ran away from my home and haven’t been back.

An Ethiopian intelligence official acknowledged to Human Rights Watch in January 2016 that targeting public figures was a deliberate government policy. “It is important to target respected Oromos,” he said. “Anyone that has the ability to mobilize Oromos will be targeted, from the highest level like Bekele, to teachers, respected students, and Oromo artists.”

Human Rights Watch also interviewed a number of students who had been detained during the 2014 protests, eventually released, and then were arrested again as soon as the protests began in November 2015. Some described horrendous treatment in detention. Waysira, a then-second year university student, said:

[In 2014] I was arrested for two weeks. I was stripped to my underwear and beaten with sticks. They applied electric wires to my back. They wanted me to admit being OLF and to say where my brother was – who they suspect was OLF. Eventually they released me. I wasn’t allowed to go back to school, so I have been sitting around doing nothing ever since. I went back to my family’s village. When the protests started again in Oromia, they came to my house and arrested me again. There hadn’t been protests in that area, but there were on the campus I had been suspended from. They accused me of mobilizing students, and beat me for two days. Then I was released. They wanted to target anyone they thought might be thinking of protesting.

Torture, Ill-Treatment in Detention
All of the students interviewed who had been detained said the authorities interrogated them about who was behind the protests and about their family history. They said interrogators accused them of having connections to opposition groups – typically the legally registered Oromo Federalist Congress and the banned Oromo Liberation Front. Interrogators accused some students of providing information to diaspora or international media and a number of students said their phones, Facebook accounts, and email accounts were searched during detention. These descriptions of interrogation match patterns Human Rights Watch has documented in Oromia over several years.

Tolessa, a first-year university student from Adama University, said:

It was the evening after the protest. We were recovering from the teargas and trying to find out who had been shot during the protest. Then the security forces stormed the dormitories. They blindfolded 17 of us from my floor and drove us two hours into the countryside. We were put into an unfinished building for nine days. Each night they would take us out one by one, beat us with sticks and whips, and ask us about who was behind the protests and whether we were members of the OLF. I told them I don’t even know who the OLF are but treating students this way will drive people toward the OLF. They beat me very badly for that. We would hear screams all night long. When I went to the bathroom, I saw students being hung by their wrists from the ceiling and being whipped. There was over a hundred students I saw. The interrogators were not from our area. We had to speak Amharic [the national language]. If we spoke Oromo they would get angry and beat us more.

Meti, in her 20s, was arrested in late December for selling traditional Oromo clothes the day after a protest in East Wollega:

I was arrested and spent one week at the police station. Each night they pulled me out and beat me with a dry stick and rubber whip. Then I was taken to [location withheld]. I was kept in solitary confinement. On three separate occasions I was forced to take off my clothes and parade in front of the officers while I was questioned about my link with the OLF. They threatened to kill me unless I confessed to being involved with organizing the protests. I was asked why I was selling Oromo clothes and jewelry. They told me my business symbolizes pride in being Oromo and that is why people are coming out [to protest]. At first I was by myself in a dark cell, but then I was with all the other girls that had been arrested during the protest.

A 22-year-old woman told Human Rights Watch she was arrested the night of a protest in late December and taken to what she described as a military camp in the Borana zone. She was held in solitary confinement in total darkness. She said she was raped on three occasions in her cell by unidentified men during her two-week detention. On each occasion, she believed there were two men involved. She was frequently pulled out of her cell and interrogated about her involvement in the protests and the whereabouts of her two brothers, who the interrogators suggested were mobilizing students. She was released on the condition that she would bring her two brothers to security officials for questioning.

Right to Health, Education
The authorities have targeted health workers for arrest during the protests, and as a result some wounded protesters have been unable to get treatment. Demiksa, a student from Eastern Wollega, said that he was refused medical treatment in late December for his injured arm and face after he was pushed to the ground in a panic when Oromia regional police fired teargas at protesters: “[The health workers] said they couldn’t treat me. The day before security forces had arrested two of their colleagues because they were treating protesters. They were accused of providing health care to the opposition.”

Health workers said security forces harassed them and arrested some of their colleagues because they posted photos on social media showing their arms crossed in what has become a symbol of the protest movement. A health worker in East Wollega said he had been forced at gunpoint to treat a police officer’s minor injuries while student protesters with bullet wounds were left unattended. The health worker said at least one of those students died from his injuries that evening.

Many students said the local government closed schools to prevent students from mobilizing, or because teachers had been arrested. Some students said they were afraid to go to class or were refusing to go to school as a form of protest against the government. Four students who had been detained said that security officials told them that they would not be allowed to return to their university. A Grade 6 student who said she had the highest marks in her class the previous year said that the principal told her she would not be allowed to go back to school because she attended the protests. As a result, she decided to flee Ethiopia.

Human Rights Watch previously documented cases of students who were suspended after they participated in the 2014 protests, a pattern that is also emerging in the aftermath of the current protests.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/02/21/ethiopia-no-let-crackdown-protests

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Human Rights Watch: World Report 2016: Ethiopia: Events of 2015 January 27, 2016

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Agazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015

 

In Ethiopia in 2015 there were continuing government crackdowns on opposition political party members, journalists, and peaceful protesters, many of whom experienced harassment, arbitrary arrest, and politically motivated prosecutions.

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the ruling party coalition, won all 547 parliamentary seats in the May elections, due in part to the lack of space for critical or dissenting voices. Despite a few high-profile prisoner releases ahead of the June visit of United States President Barack Obama, there was no progress on fundamental reforms of the deeply repressive laws and policies constricting Ethiopian civil society organizations and media.

Elections and Political Space

May’s federal elections took place in a general atmosphere of intimidation, and concerns over the National Electoral Board’s lack of independence. Opposition parties reported that state security forces and ruling party cadres harassed and detained their members, while onerous registration requirements effectively put opposition candidates at a disadvantage.

Opposition parties reported that government officials regularly blocked their attempts to hold protests and rallies in the run-up to the election by denying permits, arresting organizers, and confiscating equipment.

These restrictions, alongside the absence of independent media and civil society, meant there was little opportunity for dissenting voices to be heard or meaningful political debate on key issues ahead of the elections.

Freedom of Peaceful Assembly

Eighteen individuals identified as leaders of the Muslim protest movement that swept across Ethiopia from 2012-2014 were convicted in July under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and sentenced in August to between 7 and 22 years each after closed, flawed trials. Authorities detained them in July 2012 when some Muslim communities were protesting against perceived government interference in their religious affairs.

An unknown number of ethnic Oromo students continued to be detained, many without charge, after protests throughout Oromia in April and May 2014 against the planned expansion of Addis Ababa’s municipal boundary into Oromia. Security personnel used excessive and at times lethal force, including live ammunition, against protesters in several cities, killing at least several dozen protesters, and arrested hundreds.

There have been no investigations by Ethiopian authorities into the deaths and the use of unlawful force. Those released said they were tortured or otherwise ill-treated in detention. Ethnic Oromos make up approximately 45 percent of Ethiopia’s population and are often arbitrarily arrested and accused of belonging to the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

Freedom of Expression and Association

Media remained under government stranglehold, with many journalists having to choose between self-censorship, harassment and arrest, or exile. At least 60 journalists have fled into exile since 2010. Tactics used to restrict independent media included targeting publishers, printing presses, and distributors.

The Ethiopian government’s systematic repression of independent media has created a bleak landscape for free expression ahead of the May 2015 general elections. In the past year, six privately owned publications closed after government harassment; at least 22 journalists, bloggers, and publishers were criminally charged, and more than 30 journalists fled the country in fear of being arrested under repressive laws.

In June, journalist Reeyot Alemu and five other journalists and bloggers from the Zone 9 blogging collective were released from prison ahead of President Obama’s visit to Ethiopia, On October 16, the remaining four imprisoned Zone 9 bloggers were acquitted of terrorism charges after 39 hearings and 539 days in detention. A fifth charged in absentia was also acquitted. Many other journalists, protesters, and other political opponents continued to be prosecuted under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, and many journalists including Eskinder Nega and Woubshet Taye remain in prison.

The 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO law) continues to severely curtail the ability of independent nongovernmental organizations to work on human rights. The law bars work on human rights, good governance, conflict resolution, and advocacy on the rights of women, children, and people with disabilities if organizations receive more than 10 percent of their funds from foreign sources.

The government regularly monitors and records telephone calls of family members and friends of suspected opposition members and intercepts digital communications with highly intrusive spyware. Leaked emails from Milan-based Hacking Team, which sold spyware to the Ethiopian government, reveal that despite warnings of the risk of Ethiopia misusing their spyware, they issued a temporary license to Ethiopia while they began negotiations in April on a new contract worth at least US$700,000.

Torture and Arbitrary Detention

Ethiopian security personnel frequently tortured and otherwise ill-treated political detainees held in both official and secret detention centers to give confessions or provide information. At its UN Universal Periodic Review in 2014, Ethiopia accepted a recommendation to “adopt measures which guarantee the non-occurrence of cases of torture and ill-treatment in places of detention,” but there is little indication that security personnel are being investigated or punished for carrying out these abuses.

The Liyu police, a Somali Regional State paramilitary police force without a clear legal mandate, continued to commit serious human rights abuses in their ongoing conflict with the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in Ethiopia’s Somali Region, with reports of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, and violence against civilians who are accused of supporting or being sympathetic to the ONLF.

Andargachew Tsige, a United Kingdom citizen and secretary-general of the Ginbot 7 organization, a group banned for advocating armed overthrow of the government, remains in detention in Ethiopia after his unlawful 2014 deportation to Ethiopia from Yemen while in transit. He had twice been sentenced to death in absentia for his involvement with Ginbot 7. UK consular officials visited Andargachew only three times, amid growing concerns about his mistreatment in detention. In April, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called on Ethiopia to release and compensate Andargachew.

Forced Displacement Linked to Development Programs

Some donors, including UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Bank, rechanneled funding from the problematic Protection of Basic Services (PBS) program in 2015. PBS was associated with the abusive “villagization program,” a government effort to relocate 1.5 million rural people into permanent villages, ostensibly to improve their access to basic services. Some of the relocations in the first year of the program in Gambella region in 2011 were accompanied by violence, including beatings and arbitrary arrests, and insufficient consultation and compensation.

Some Gambella residents filed a complaint in 2013 to the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, the institution’s independent accountability mechanism, alleging that the bank violated its own policies on indigenous people and involuntary resettlement. The Inspection Panel identified major shortcomings in the PBS program in its November 2014 recommendations, although the World Bank Board largely rejected the findings in February. A translator who worked with the Inspection Panel in Gambella was arrested in March and charged under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation in September 2015.

In February, in the course of a court hearing on a complaint by an Ethiopian farmer that the UK violated its partnership principles by supporting the PBS program, DFID announced that it was ending support to the PBS program. DFID cited concerns over Ethiopia’s civil and political rights record, including concerns related to “freedom of expression and electoral competition, and continued concerns about the accountability of security services.”

There are ongoing reports of forced displacement from development projects in different regions, often with minimal or no compensation and little in the way of prior consultation with affected, often indigenous, communities. Allegations have arisen from commercial and industrial projects associated with Addis Ababa’s expansion and the continued development of sugar plantations in the Lower Omo Valley, which involves clearing 245,000 hectares of land that is home to 200,000 indigenous people. Communities in Omo have seen their grazing land cleared and have lost access to the Omo River, which they relied on for crops. Individuals who questioned the development plans were arrested and harassed.

Violent incidents, both between different ethnic groups and between the government and ethnic groups, increased in 2015 partly due to the growing competition for grazing land and other resources. The reservoir behind the Gibe III dam began filling in January 2015, reducing the annual natural flood that replenished the agricultural lands along the banks of the Omo River.

Key International Actors

Ethiopia enjoys strong support from foreign donors and most of its regional neighbors, based on its role as host of the African Union and strategic regional player, its contribution to UN peacekeeping, security and aid partnerships with Western countries, and its progress on development indicators. The African Union(AU)—the only international body that monitored the May elections—declared the elections “credible” despite the severe restrictions on opposition political parties, independent media, and civil society.

Ethiopia continued to facilitate negotiations between warring parties in South Sudan, and its troops maintained calm in the disputed Abyei Region. Ethiopia deploys troops inside Somalia as part of the AU mission, and in 2015 there were growing reports that abusive “Liyu police” forces were also deployed alongside the Ethiopian Defense Forces. Ethiopia continued to host hundreds of thousands of refugees from South Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea.

Ethiopia is one of the largest recipients of donor aid in Africa, receiving almost $3 billion in 2015 despite allegations of human rights abuses associated with some development programs, including forced displacement in Gambella and the Omo Valley. There are no indications that donors have strengthened the monitoring and accountability provisions needed to ensure that their development aid does not contribute to or exacerbate human rights problems in Ethiopia.

Motumaan Itoopian humna dhiibaa fudhechuu itti fuufeera. Bara 2015 keessatti qofa miseensota dhaabbilee siyaasaa, gaazexessitoota, fi hiriirtota nagaa baay’inni isaanii gidiraa adda addaa, hidhaa akka malee, akkasumas hiraarfama ilaalcha siyaasa irraa ka’ee gaggeeffamaa tureef saaxilamuun isaanii itti fufeera.

Sababa qaamota sagalee addaa qaban irratti karaan cufameef Gamtaan dhaabota siyaasaa aangoo irra jiru, Addi Dimokraatawaa Warraaqsa Ummata Itoopiyaa (ADWUI), baatii Caamsaa keessa filannoo gaggeeffameen teessuma paarlaamaa 547 hunda moo’eera. Dhufaatii Prezedantiin biyya Amerikaa Baaraak Obaamaa dura hidhamtoota siyaasaa beekamoo muraasa gadhiisuu tiin alatti mirga bu’uraa dhala namaa, seerota, imaammata caasaawwan bilisaa ummataa fi midiyaa cunqursan fi akka hin malletti sochii dhorkuuf tolfaman ilaalchisee biyatii keesatti fooya’insi ta’e homa hinjiru.

Filannoo fi Waltajjii Siyaasaa

Filannoon sadarkaa Federaalaa Caamsaa sun akka waliigalaa tti doorsisa/sodaachisuun kan guutame, Boordiin Filannoo Biyyoolessaa bilisummaa haala hin qabne keessatti gaggeeffame. Gama tokkoon dhaabotni mormitootaa humni tikaa fi dabballeewwan dhaaba siyaasaa aangoo qabatee jiru akka miseensota isaanii dararan fi hidhan yoo gabaasan gama biraatiin ammoo sirni dorgomtoota galmeessisuu mormitoota irratti akka malee ulfaataa akka ta’u godhamee ture.

Dhaabotni mormitootaa yaroo filanaannan dhiyaate tti hiriira nagaa gaggeessuuf fi ummata sochoosuuf yaalii yaroo hedduu godhanillee angawootni mootummaa hayyama dhorkachuu, hidhuudhaan akka danqaa itti ta’an ibsu.

Qoqqobbiiwwan kunniin, midiyaan fi dhaabotni ummataa bilisa ta’an dhabamuu isaanii waliin wal qabatee, hiikni qabu sagaleen addaa akka hin dhagayamne ukkamsuu falmiin siyaasaa hiikaa qabu qabxiiwwan siyaasaa murteessoo irratti akka hin godhamne taasisu.

Mirga Walgayii Nagaa Gaggeessuu

Sochii Hiriira Musliima kan bara 2012-2014 Itoophiyaa guutuu keessatti qabate qindeessu jedhamanii namootni adda baafaman kudha saddet irratti baatii Adoolessaa keessa labsii farra shororkeessummaa jalatti himatni dhiyaatee, Hagayya keessa adabni hidhaa waggaa 7 fi 22, dhaddcha cufaa fi falmii karaa malee gaggeeffameen irratti murtaaye.  Angawootni mootummaa Adoolessa 2012 keessa yommu ummatni Musliimaa mootummaan dhimma amantii isaanii keessa galaa akka jiru fakkaatee mul’atetti mormii hiriira taasisu jalqabanitti aanee hidhamani.

Karoora Finfinnee gara Oromiyaatti babal’isuu waliin wal qabatee hiriira mormii Ebla fi Caamsaa 2014 eegaleen, barattoota Oromoo lakkoofsi isaanii hammana jedhanii himuu hin dandeenye, hedduun himata seeraa tokkoon alatti qabanii hidhuun itti fufeera.  Qaamotni tikaa humna akka malee ta’e, kan lubbuu namaa balaaf saaxiluu, rasaasa dabalatee, fayyadamuudhaan magaalaa hedduutti hiriirtota irratti dhukaasuun yoo xinnaate namoota kurnoota hedduutti lakkaayaman ajjeesaniiru, dhibbootatti kan lakkaayaman hidhaniiru.

Ajjeechaa fi humna seeraan ala fayyadamuu kana ilaalchisee angawoota mootummaa Itoophiyaatiin qorannaan gaggeeffame hin jiru. Kanneen hidhaa irraa gadhiifaman garuu akka reebaman ykn haala akka malee keessatti qabamanii akka turfaman ibsu. Ummata Itoophiyaa keessa % 45 kan ta’u Oromoo yoo ta’u, yaroo hedduu hidhaa akka hin malle kan saaxilame fi Adda Bilisummaa Oromo (ABO) dhaaba seeraan uggurman deeggara maqaa jedhuun kan himatamudha.

Mirga Yaada Ofii Ibsachuu fi Walgeettii

Miidiyaaleen mootummaa jalatti ukkamamamanii hojjechuu itti fufaniiru, gaazexessitootni hedduun of to’achuuf dirqamanii hojjetu ykn hiraarfamuu, hidhamuu fi biyyaa baqatanii baduu keessaa tokko filachuun dirqama itti ta’eera. Bara 2010 irraa eegalee yoo xinnaate gaazexessitootni 60 ta’an biyyaa badaniiru. Tarsiimoon midiyaalee bilisaa ukkaamsu kun barreessitootaa fi waldaalee maxxansitoota fi raabsitoota dabalata.

Baatii Waxabajjii keessa, gaazexessituu Riyoot Alamuu fi gamtaan bilogarota Zoonii 9 faa fi kanneen biroo shan do’ii Pirezedantiin Obaamaan Itophiyaatti godhe dura mana hidhaa irraa gadhiifaman.  Onkololeessa 16, bilogarota Zoonii 9 keessaa kanneen hidhaa keessatti hafanii turan fi labsii farra shororkeessummaa jalatti yakkamanii ballama 36 tiif mana murtii tti deddeebi’aa erga turaniin fi bulti 539 erga hidhamanii booda murtiin bilisa jedhamanii hiikamani. Inni shanaffaan bakka hin jirretti dhimmi isaa ilaalamaa tures bilisa ta’eera. Gaazexessitootni biroo hedduu, hirmaattotni hiriiraa, akkasumas mormitootni siyaasaa biroo irrattis himatni labsii farra shororkeessummaa jalatti irratti dhiyaatu ittuma fufeetu jira, gaazexessitoota Iskindir Naggaa fi Wubisheet Taayyee dabalatee ammoo ammallee manuma hidhaa keessa jiru.

Labsiin Waldaawwan Tajaajila tolaa kennuuf hundaawan fi Jaarmiyaalee Hawaasaa, dhaabota bilisaa kan miti-mootummaa ta’an mirga isaan hojjechuuf qaban takaalee dhorkuun isaa ittuma fufeetu jira.  Seerichi waayee mirga dhala namaa, bulchinsa gaarii, walitti bu’insa hiikuu, falmii mirga dubartoota, kan ijoollee, fi ummata hir’ina qaamaa qaban irratti, dhaabotni hojjetan bajata qaban keessaa dhibbeentaa 10 olitti madda alaa irraa horii kan argatan yoo ta’e akka hin hojjente uggura.

Mootummaan kuusaa odeeffannoo haasawaa bilbila maatiiwwan fi hiryyootni namoota akka mormituutti shakkamanii itti fufinsaan towata, haasawaa isaanii gidduu galee meeshaa ‘spaayiweer’ jedhamutti fayyadamee akka hin malletti dhaggeeffata.

Imeeliin garee basaastuu- imeelii Miilan, spaayiweer mootummaa Itoophiyaatti gurguruun isaatiif icciitiin kan harkaa baye akka himutti, jarreen hayyama yaroo Itoophiyaaf kennanii akka ture fi Ebla irraa eegalee waliigaltee haaraa yoo xinnaate US 700,000 kan baasu raawwachuuf marii irra akka jiran argisiisa.

Reebicha fi Hidhaa Seera-Malee

Hojjettootni humna tikaa Itoophiyaa hidhamtoota siyaasaa manneen hidhaa beekamoo fi dhoksaa keessatti qabamanii jiran reebuun ykn akka hin malletti dararuudhaan jecha amantii fi odeeffannoo irraa fuudhuuf yaaluu ittuma fufaniiru. Mootummaa Gamtaawaniitti Gilgaala Waliigalaa Yaroo Yarootti Gaggeeffamu kan bara 2014 irratti, Itoophiyaan yaada fooyya’insaa kennameef fudhachuudhaan “manneen hidhaa keessatti reebicha raawwatamu fi hiraarsa irratti raawwachuun akka hin jiraatne mirkaneessuu kan dandeessisu deemsa akka diriirsuu” waliigalaeera, haa ta’u malee ergasii asitti hojjettootni humna tikaa kanneen hojii akkanaa raawwatan qoratamuu ykn adabamuu isaaniitiif mallattoon argame hin jiru.

Liyyuu poolisii, humni paaraamilitarii Mootummaa Naanoon Somaalee, Poolisii aangoo seera ifaa ta’e tokkoon maleetti, walitti bu’insa Adda Biyyoolessaa Bilisummaa Ogaaden (ABBO) waliin jiru sababa gochuun socho’uudhaa yakkoota ciccimoo mirga dhala namaa sarbuu Itoopiyaa fi somaalee keessatti raawwachuu itti fufeen, gabaasotni seera malee nama akka fedhanitti nama ajjeesuu, hidhaa seeraan malee, ummata siviilii ABBO gargaaruun shakkaman dararuun baay’inaaa gabaafamaa jira.

Andaargaachoo Tsiggee, lammii biyya Yunaayitid Kiingdam fi dhaaba mootummaa humnaan fonqolchuuf yaale jedhamee ugguramee jiru dhaaba Ginboot 7 jedhamuuf barreessaa kan ta’e, bara 2014 seeraan ala biyya Yaman irra otoo darbuu seeraan ala qabamee erga Itoophiyaatti dabarfamee booda hanga ammaatti hidhaa keessa jira. Namni kun hirmaannaa Giboot 7 keessatti qabuuf harka lama murtiin du’aa bakka hin jirretti irratti murameera. Miseensotni Qonsilaa UK, Andaargaachoo, mana hidhaa keessatti hiraarsi irra gayaa jiraachuu isaatiif shakkiin guddaan otoo jiruu, marraa sadii qofaaf dhaqanii isa ilaalani. Baatii Eblaa keessa gareen hojii seeraan malee hidhaa raawwatu irratti hojjetu kan UN tokko mootummaan Itoophiyaa Andaargaachoo akka gadhiisuu fi beenyaas akka kafaluuf gaafate.

Maqaa Karoora Misooma jedhuun Humnaan Nama Buqqisuu

Hirphaa kennitootni gariin, Qajeelcha Misooma Addunyaa UK (DFID) fi baankii addunyaa dabalatee, horii kennuu Tajaajila Bu’uraa Tiksuu (TBT) [Protection of Basic Services  (PBS)] sagantaa rakkisaa turerra bara 2015 jallisanii jiru. TBTn sagantaa ummata qubachiisuu, yaalii mootummaan ummata miliyoona 1.5 ta’u, maqaa tajaajila bu’uuraa ummatatti dhiyeessa jedhuun hawaasa baadiyyaa jiraatu buqqisuu waliin wal qabsiisee raawwatu dha. Bakki itti ummata buqqisanii bara duraaf galchuuf itti saganteeffatan  gariin, kan Naannoo Gambeellaa bara 2011 raawwate ummata hiraarsuu, reebichaa fi hidhaa akka maleetti fayyadamuudhaan, marii fi kaasaa gayaa tokkoon maleetti kan hojii irra ooledha.

Jiraattotni Gambeellaa muraasni bara 2013 Garee Qorataa Baankii Addunyaa, qaama bilisaa mala ittigaafatamummaa bilisa jedhamutti himata dhiyeeffatani, Baankichis seera mataa isaa kan imaammata jiraattota biyyaa fi ummata fedha isaa maleetti qubachiisuu waliin wal qabsiisee hordofu cabseera jedhu. Gareen Qorattuu, yaada fooyya’insaa Sadaasa 2014 dhiyeesseen sagantaa TBT keessatti rakkoowwan bu’uuraa adda baasee dhiyeesseera, haa ta’u malee Boordiin Baankii Addunyaa argannoo kunniin hedduu isaanii baatii Guraandhalaa keessa kufaa godheera.  Afaan hiiktuun Garee Qorannaa san waliin Gambeellaa keessatti hojjetaa ture Bitootessaa keessa erga qabamee hidhamee booda Labsii farra shororkeessummaa jalatti yakka raawwatte jedhamee Fulbaana 2015 tti himatame.

Guraandhala keessa, yommu himatni qotee bulaa Itoophiyaa tokko sababa UK’n waadaa sirna waliin hojjechuuf tolfame kabajuu hanqachuudhaan sagantaa TBT deeggarte jedhamtee mana murtiitti falmiin dhiyaachaa turetti, DFIDn sagantaa TBT deeggaruu akka dhaabe labse. Murtii isaa kanaa tiif akka sababa tti waantota tuqe keessaa, Itoophiyaan mirgoota siyaasaa kabajuu ishee ilaalchisee ragaan jiru, haala yaachisaa bilisa ta’anii yaada ofii ibsachuu fi dorgommii filannaa irratti, akkasumas haala yaroo dheeraatiif yaachisaa ta’ee itti fufaa jiru kan raawwii hojjettoota humna tikaa ilaalchisee jiru kaasee ture.

Humnaan ummata qeyee isaa irraa buqqisanii bakka biraa qubachiisuu ilaalchisee itti fufinsaan gabaasni dhiyaachaa jira, hojiin kun kafaltii xinno yoo kaan ammoo kafaltiin tokkoon alatti, otoo jiraattotni ykn ummatni dhimmi isaa ilaallatu sirnaan hin irratti hin mariisisiin kan raawwatamu dha. Komiin akkanaa kun projektota daldala fi indusitrii kan Finfinnee babal’isuuf karoorfamee jiru fi misooma biqiltuu shonkoraa holqa Oomoo isa garjalla isa lafa hektaara 245,000 irraa qulqulleessanii kaasuu fi jiraattota 200,000 kan laficha irra jiraatan waliin wal qabatee ka’udha.  Hawaasni Oomoo lafa isaa irraa kaloo horii qulqullaayee laga Omoo kan midhaan hoomishuuf itti fayyadamnanitti karaan yoo itti cufamu arganii callisuuf dirqamani.  Kanneen karoora misoomaa kana ilaalchisee gaaffii kaasan ammoo ni hidhamu ni hiraarfamu.

Walitti bu’insi hamaan, sabaa fi sablammoota gidduu akkasuma mootummaa fi ummata adda addaa gidduutti mul’achuun bara 2015 keessa dabaleera, sababni kanaas gara caalu lafa kaloo fi qabeenya umamaa irratti wal dhiibuu irraa madda.  Cufaan jallisii Gibee III duuba jiru Amajjii 2015 irraa eegalee, bara baraan bishaan uumamaan gad darbee gamaa-gamna Oomootti lafa qonnaa   jiisuun irra ture hanqisaa, ofii garuu guutuu eegaleera.

Qaamota Biyya Alaa Dhimma Kana Keessatti Furtuu Ta’an

Itoophiyaan hirphaa kennitoota biyya alaa hedduu fi biyyoota ollaa irraa gargaarsa guddaa argachaa jirti, kunis biyyattiin teessuma Gamtaa Afrikaa ta’uu ishee irraa kan ka’e bakka murteessaa qabaachuu, nagaa eegsiftuu Mootummaa Gamtoomanii (UN) keessatti gumaacha qabdu, nageenya fi gargaarsa waliin wal-qabatee walitti dhufeenya biyyoota dhiyaa waliin tolfatte, akkasumas misooma biyyaa irratti safartuuwwan jiru irratti fooyya’insa mul’ifte jedhamee kan himamu san irraa kan maddudha.  Gamtaan Afrikaa (AU) – qaamni tokkittiin addunyaa hunda irraa filannaa 2015 to’ate- otoo dhaabotni siyaasaa mormitootaa, miidiyaaleen bilisaa fi dhaabotni bilisaa kanneen biroon akka hin sochoone qoqqobbaan cimaan irratti godhamee jiruu, filannaan sun  “amanamaadha” jedhee labse.

Itoophiyaan kanneen lola irra jiran araara ummata Sudaan Kibbaa aanjessuu itti fuftee jirti, humni waraanaa ishii bakka wal dhibdeen jiru Naannoo Abiye’i qabatee jira. Itoophiyaan shoora Gamtaa Afrikaa (AU) keessatti qabdu waliin wal qabatee humna waraanaa ishii Somaalee akka bobbaaftee jirti, bara 2015 keessa humna akka maleetti fayyadama kan jiru humni “Liyyuu Poolis” humna waraanaa Itoophiyaa cinaa socho’aa akka jiru gabaasni dhiyaachaa ture. Itoophiyaan dhibba fi kumaatamatti lakkaayaman baqattoota Ummata Sudaan Kibbaa, Somaalee fi Eertiraa irraa simattee keessee jirti.

Karoorri misoomaa Itoophiyaa gariin isaa dhiibbaa mirga namaa waliin wal qabatee-humnaan ummata Gambeellaa fi Holqa Omoo keessa jiraatu buqqisuu dabalatee, kan mormiin irratti ka’u yoo ta’ellee, biyyattiin hirphaa biyyoota alaa irraa bara 2015 keessa biliyoona $3 hirpha argachuun Afrikaa keessaa sadarkaa tokkoffaa irra jirti.  Biyyootni hirpha kana kennan waliigaltee gargaarsichaa keessatti sirni ittigaafatamummaa fi to’annaa itti cimu, gargaarsi kun cunqursaa mirga dhala namaaf akka hin oolle gochuu irratti keewwata cimaa tokko kaayuu isaanii kan argisiisu mallattoon tokko hin jiru.


 

https://www.hrw.org/om/world-report/2016/country-chapters/285336


 

East Africa: Little Progress, Worsening Repression

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/01/27/east-africa-little-progress-worsening-repression

 

Human Rights Watch (Oromia): Ethiopia: Lethal Force Against Protesters. #OromoProtests December 19, 2015

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Ethiopia: Lethal Force Against Protesters

Military Deployment, Terrorism Rhetoric Risk Escalating Violence

(Nairobi) – Ethiopian security forces have killed dozens of protesters since November 12, 2015, in Oromia regional state, according to reports from the region. The security forces should stop using excessive lethal force against protesters.

Protesters in Oromia region, Ethiopia.

Protesters in Oromia region, Ethiopia, December 2015.

Police and military forces have fired on demonstrations, killing at least 75 protesters and wounding many others, according to activists. Government officials have acknowledged only five deaths and said that an undisclosed number of security force members have also been killed. On December 15, the government announced that protesters had a “direct connection with forces that have taken missions from foreign terrorist groups” and that Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Task Force will lead the response.

“The Ethiopian government’s response to the Oromia protests has resulted in scores dead and a rapidly rising risk of greater bloodshed,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The government’s labelling of largely peaceful protesters as ‘terrorists’ and deploying military forces is a very dangerous escalation of this volatile situation.”

Protests by students began in Ginchi, a small town 80 kilometers southwest of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, when authorities sought to clear a forest for an investment project. Protests quickly spread throughout the Oromia region, home of Ethiopia’s estimated 35 million Oromo, the country’s largest ethnic group.

They evolved into larger demonstrations against the proposed expansion of the Addis Ababa municipal boundary, known as the “Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan.” Approximately 2 million people live in the area of the proposed boundary expansion and many protesters fear the plan could displace Oromo farmers and residents living near the city.

Since mid-November, the protesting students have been joined by farmers and other residents. Human Rights Watch received credible reports that security forces shot dozens of protesters in Shewa and Wollega zones, west of Addis Ababa, in early December. Several people described seeing security forces in the town of Walliso, 100 kilometers southwest of Addis Ababa, shoot into crowds of protesters in December, leaving bodies lying in the street.

Numerous witnesses told Human Rights Watch that security forces beat and arrested protesters, often directly from their homes at night. Others described several locations as “very tense” with heavy military presence and “many, many arrests.” One student who took part in protests in West Shewa said, “I don’t know where any of my friends are. They have disappeared after the protest. Their families say they were taken by the police.”

Local residents in several areas told Human Rights Watch that protesters took over some local government buildings after government officials abandoned them. Protesters have also set up roadblocks to prevent the movement of military units into communities. Some foreign-owned commercial farms were looted and destroyed near Debre Zeit, 50 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa, news media reported.

Human Rights Watch has not been able to corroborate the precise death toll and many of the details of individual incidents because of limited independent access and restricted communications with affected areas. There have also been unconfirmed reports of arrests of health workers, teachers, and others who have publicly shown support for the protest movement through photos and messages on social media.

Oromia: Human rights defender says Ethiopian govt’s attacks on Oromo children and youth are cruel, brutal December 16, 2015

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???????????Human rights League of the Horn of AfricahrwlogoStop killing Oromo StudentsAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015

Human rights defender says Ethiopian govt’s attacks on Oromo children and youth are cruel, brutal

Muddee/December 16, 2015 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com

The following is a report by the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) …

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Ethiopia: Extreme Cruelties and Brutalities against Oromo Children and Youth

HRLHA Urgent Action

For Immediate Release

The Oromo students’ protests(1), which were re-ignited in November 2015, in opposition to the so called “Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan” – Ethiopian Federal Government’s plan of systematic ethnic cleansing aimed at the Oromo People, and which spread in a few days to almost all schools and universities in the Regional State of Oromia, have already claimed the lives of dozens of Oromo students; and is threatening hundreds of others. Below in the table is the list of nine Oromo students who have been confirmed dead in the past seven days being shot at and killed in cold-blooded by the Ethiopian armed squad of the Agazi Force:

mass killings and arrests in Oromia by fascist TPLF Ethiopia as of December 15, 2015

Four Oromo youth from Fincha, Horro Guduru: Zarihun Raggassa, Wakjira Gaddisa, Meseret Tilahun (female), and Alemu Likkisa were taken to hospital on the 6th of December 2015, with life-threatening wounds and injuries from shots and assaults; and no words regarding their situations since then.

The unarmed and defenseless Oromo students are facing extreme and fatal brutalities (see below) while staging peaceful protests to seek answers to their legitimate questions regarding the expansion of the city of Addis Ababa without the consultations and consents of the local people, which is likely to cause the evictions of millions of Oromo farmers from their livelihoods. Although there are no confirmed fatalities at this point, about 200 children from Sululta High School, Northern Showa, have been rushed to St. Paul Hospital in the Capital, Addis Ababa, on the 6th of December 2015, after being poisoned in a classroom with yet unknown chemical that was sprayed into the air by the security forces.

Innocent children and youth are being shot at and killed, threatened with mass murders with poisonous chemicals just while attempting to exercise their fundamental rights within the limits of the provisions of both the federal and regional constitutions. The biggest of all ironies is that forces like the federal military, the federal and the regional police, who were established and hired to defend the constitutions of all levels are instead engaged in violating and breaking such legal provisions intended to protect the citizens. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa is receiving continuous and credible reports from different corners of the Regional State of Oromia in Ethiopia that members of TPLF special squad of the Agazi Force as well as the police are taking such fatal actions and assaults in the open air in daylights in front of the local residents in order to terrorize, intimidate and harass the whole communities.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) strongly believes that the Ethiopian Government’s cruel actions against humanity, against its own citizens, are purely genocidal. HRLHA would like to express its deep concerns that, given the situations witnessed in the past seven days, more human casualties could take place; and, therefore, calls for unconditional interference by the world communities in order that such extreme brutalities be stopped before inflicting further losses of lives and other human damages.

The HRLHA is a non-political organization that attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. It works to defend fundamental human rights, including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and association. It also works to raise the awareness of individuals about their own basic human rights and those of others. It encourages respect for laws and due process. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies.

– HRLHA

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Copied to:

– UNESCO Headquarters
– UNESCO – Africa Department
– UNESCO – Africa Regional Office
– Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
– Office of the UNHCR
– African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)
– Council of Europe
– U.S. Department of State – Ethiopia Desk

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References:

(1) http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14287; http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14668; http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=15430; http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=15667

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Viewer Discretion Advised (Partial List of the Deceased and the Wounded):

http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2015/12/ethiopia-human-rights-defender-says-attacks-on-oromo-children-youth-are-cruel-and-brutal/

Human Rights Watch says the bloody crackdown on Oromo protesters must stop. Ajjeechaa Barattoota Oromoo irratti raawwatame Human Rights Watch balaaleeffate. December 7, 2015

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Dispatches: Yet Again, a Bloody Crackdown on Protesters in Ethiopia

DECEMBER 5, 2015  Dispatches

 Felix HorneResearcher, Horn of Africa

(Human Rights Watch (HRW, 5 December 2015): Student protests are spreading throughout Ethiopia’s Oromia region, as people demonstrate against the possibility that Oromo farmers and residents living near the capital, Addis Ababa, could be evicted from their lands without appropriate – or possibly any – compensation. Social media is filled with images of bloodied protesters; there are credible reports of injuries and arrests in a number of towns; and local police have publicly acknowledged that three students have died so far.

Ethiopian migrants, all members of the Oromo community of Ethiopia living in Malta, protest against the Ethiopian regime outside the office of Malta's Prime Minister in Valletta June 16, 2014.

The current protests echo the bloody events of April and May 2014, when federal forces fired into groups of largely peaceful Oromo protesters, killing dozens. At least hundreds more students were arrested, and many remain behind bars. Both then and today, the demonstrators are ostensibly protesting the expansion of Addis Ababa’s municipal boundary into the surrounding Oromia region, which protesters fear will displace Oromo farmers from their land. But these protests are about much more: Many Oromos have felt marginalized and discriminated against by successive Ethiopian governments and have often felt unable to voice their concerns over government policies.

Of the student protesters detained in 2014, some have been released. Those I spoke with told me about the torture they endured as part of interrogations. But countless others remain in detention. Some have been charged under Ethiopia’s draconian counterterrorism law for their role in the protests; others languish without charge in unknown detention centers and military camps throughout Oromia. This week, five students were convicted of terrorism-related offenses for their role in the protests.

There has been no government investigation into the use of live ammunition and excessive force by security personnel last year.

Ethiopia’s tight restrictions on civil society and media make it difficult to corroborate the current, mounting allegations and the exact details of the ongoing protests emerging from towns like Haramaya, Jarso, Walliso, and Robe. The government may think this strategy of silencing bad news is succeeding. But while the fear of threats and harassment means it is often months before victims and witnesses come forward to reveal what happened in their communities, they eventually do, and the truth will emerge.

The government should ensure that the use of excessive force by its security personnel stops immediately. It should then support an independent and impartial inquiry into the conduct of security forces in the current protests – and last year’s as well. Those responsible for serious abuses should be fairly prosecuted. This would be the best way for the Ethiopian government to show its concern about the deaths and injuries inflicted on the students, that it does not condone the use of live ammunition against peaceful protesters, and that those who break the law are appropriately punished.
https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/12/05/dispatches-yet-again-bloody-crackdown-protesters-ethiopia

Related:-

http://www.tesfanews.net/bloody-crackdown-on-oromo-protesters/

 

ODUU

Ajjeechaa Barattoota Oromoo irratti raawwatame Human Rights Watch balaaleeffate.

OMN:Oduu Mudde 06,2015 Hiriira mormii barattoonni Oromoo karaa nagaatiin bahanirratti, mootummaan Itoophiyaayeroo lammeessoof akka fala hiriira bittineessuutti tarkaanfii dhiiga dhangalaasuu barattoota Oromoorratti fudhachuusaa, dhaabbanni mirgoota Ilmaan namaatiif falmu ‘Human Right Watch’ ‘n ibsa baaseen himeera.

Dhabbanni mirgoota ilmaan namaatiif falmu “Human Right Watch” tarkaanfii ajjeechaa mootummaan Itoophiyaa barattootaafi uummata Oromoorratti fudhachaa jiru balaaleffachuudhaan, Hiriira mormii barattoonni Oromoo karaa nagaatiin bahanirratti

mootummaan Itoophiyaa yeroo lammeessoof akka fala hiriira bittineessuutti tarkaanfii dhiiga

dhangalaasuu barattoota Oromoorratti fudhachuusaa ibsa baaseen balaaleffateera.

lafa qonnaan bultoota Oromoo naannoo Finfinnee jiran beenyaa gayaa maleefi beenyaa malee

qonnaan bultoota irraa fudhatamaa jiraachuusaa ilaalchise, naannoo Oromiyaa iddoo gara

garaa keessatti barattoonni baldhinaa hiriira mormii akka taasisaa jiran ibsi ‘human right watch’

kun mirkaneesseera. Ibsi ‘human right watch’ kun itti dabaluun ‘website’ yookiin toora

interneetii isaarratti akka baasetti, barattoota Oromoo karaa nagaatiin hiriira mormii

bahanirratti, polisoonni Itoophiyaa tarkaanfii gara jabeessa irratti raawwateen, miidiyaaleen

hawaasaa ‘online’ akka ‘face book’ faa suuraalee barattoota mada’anii dhiigaa jiraniifi du’an

naanneessaa jira. Magaalota hedduu keessatti barattoonniifi namoonni hedduun akka

hidhamaaniifi ajjeefaman gabaasa qabatamaan gabaafameera. Gama mootummaatiin garuu,

ajjeecha barattoota sadiinii qofa, qondaalli poolisi naannoo Oromiyaa tokko amanuu isaa ibsi

‘human right watch’ kun addeesseera.

Ibsi Human riht watch kun itti dabaluun akka himetti, bara engedda, 2014 polisoonni federaalaa

Itoophiyaa uummata Oromoo karaa nagaatiin hiriira bahe irratti dhukaasa qawwee itti

roobsuudhaan namoota heddu ajjeesuun, dhibboota ol qabanii hidhuu isaanii ibseera.

Mootummaan Itoophiyaa waanuma duraan bare, yeroo ammaa kanalle barattoota Oromoo

irratti raawwata akka jiru ibsi human right watch kun ibsee, kaayoon hiriira mormii barattoota

Oromoo, babal’insi magaalaa Finfinnee lafa qonnaan bultootaa irraa fudhachuun namoota

hedduu qe’ee isaanirraa buqqisee rakkinyaaf akka saaxilu sodaa qaban ibachuuf akka ta’e,

human right watch ‘n gabaaseera. Hacuuccaafi miidhaan mootummaa Itoophiyaatiin akka

Oromoorra gahaa jiru Oromoonni hedduun baranii mootummaa Itoophiyaa mormaa akka jiran

‘human right watch’ addeesseera.

Barattota bara dhengeddaa mormii master pilaanii Finfinne kanaan walqabatee qabamanii

hidhaman gariin isaanii erga dhaaninsi hamaan ‘torture’ jedhamuufi qorannaa guddaa irratti

gaggeeffameen booda akka gadi dhiifamaniifi lakkoosfaan kan hanga hin beekamne ammalle

mana hidhaa keessatti ugguramanii akka jiran gabaasni ‘human right watch’ kun mul’iseera.

Akka gabaasa kanaatti, Oromoonni bara endendaa maaster pilaanii Finfinnee mormanii

hidhaman gariin isaanii labsii farra shorkeessummaatiin himannaan itti banamuun murteen yoo

itti murteefamu, gariin isaanii himannaan osoo irratti hin banamanin manuma hidhaa kaampii

waraanaa hin beekkamne hedduu keessatti ukkaamfanii dararaan sukkumamaa akka jiran

himeera. Torbaan kanalle barattoota shan hirira irratti hirmaatan mootummaan

shorkeessummaan wal-qabsiisee yakkaa akka jiru gabaasni Human Right watch kun

mudhiseera.

Gocha Ajjeechaafi miidhaa magaalalee Oromiyaa kanneen akka Haramayaa, Jaarsoo, Walisoofi

Roobe keessatti taasifamaa jiru irratti, miidiyaaleen Itoophiyaa akka nama ijaafi gurra hin

qabneetti caldheessaan bira dabruu isaanii, mala ittiin hammeenya dhoksan yoo te’eeyyuu,

yeroodhaaf waan ukkaamsan fakkaata malee dhugaan dhokattee akka hin hafneefi gaafa tokko

goobantee akka mul’attu, akkasuma namoonni gocha akkanaa raawwatanille murtii

madaalawaa argachuun isaanii akka hin oolle gabaasni Human Rights Watch kun himeera.

Daani’eel Bariisootiin.

Oromia/Ethiopia: Oromo children are brutalized by Aga’azy squads deployed by the TPLF for ethnic cleansing: The continuation of gross human rights violations in State of Oromia, violations that have regularly occurred since 1991 when the TPLF/EPRDF came into power: The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa expresses its grave concern December 6, 2015

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???????????Human rights League of the Horn of AfricaStop killing Oromo Students

#OromoLivesMatters!Ethiopia's regime atrocity against Oromo people

Oromia/Ethiopia: Region-Wide, Heavy-Handed Crackdown on Peaceful Protesters

 

HRLHA Urgent ActionDecember 05, 2015For Immediate ReleaseThe Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa expresses its grave concern at the continuation of gross human rights violations in Oromia Regional State, violations that have regularly occurred since 1991 when the TPLF/EPRDF came into power.

The most recent heinous crime was committed- and is still being committed- against defenseless school children protesting against the approval of “the Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan” by the Oromia Regional State Parliament a month ago. The peaceful protest involved many elementary school, high school, university students and civilians. Among them were students in Western Oromia zones, Najo, Nekemt, Mandi high schools and in other towns, in Central Oromia in Ginchi, Ambo, Addis Ababa high schools and the surrounding towns, Eastern and Southern Oromia zones, in Haromaya , and Bule Hora Universities and  many more  schools and universities. In violation of the rights of the citizen to peaceful demonstration enshrined in the Ethiopian Constitution[1] Chapter two, article 30 (1) states “Everyone has the right to assemble and to demonstrate together with others peaceably and unarmed, and to petition. Appropriate regulations may be made in the interest of public convenience relating to the location of open-air meetings and ‘the route of movement of demonstrators or, for the protection of democratic rights, public morality and peace during such a meeting or demonstration” students in all of these places were severely beaten, imprisoned or even killed.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa emphasizes that the ongoing violence and crimes committed in Oromia Regional State for over two and a half decades by the TPLF perpetrators against the Oromo Nation amount to war crimes, and crimes against humanity- a clear failure of the Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO) authorities, an organization claiming to represent the Oromo Nation.  The members of this bogus political organization have proved to be not the Oromo peoples’ true representatives, but rather stand-ins for their real masters who have compromised the interests of the Oromo Nation. The Oromia Regional State authorities/OPDO did not resist the TPLF regime when Oromo children, farmers, intellectuals, members of political organizations were killed, abducted, imprisoned, tortured and evicted from their livelihoods by TPLF security agents in the past two and half decades. Instead, they helped the TPLF regime to control the political and economic resources of the Oromia Regional State. TPLF high officials and ordinary level cadres in Oromia Regional State engaged in enriching themselves and their family members by selling Oromo land, looting and embezzling public wealth and properties in the occupied areas of the Oromo Nation, and committing many other forms of corruption.

Committing atrocities and crimes against humanity are failures to comply with obligations under international law, international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including the principles of proportionality and discrimination. With many civilians suffering from the crimes and serious violations of human rights, and by not taking any measures to ensure the accountability of those responsible for these crimes and violations, it has become clear that after all these years the so called Oromia Parliament (Caffee Oromiyaa) has betrayed the Oromo people by not protecting them. The OPDO members and the Oromia Parliament (Caffee Oromiyaa) members should not continue in silence while Oromo children are brutalized by Aga’azy squads deployed by the TPLF for ethnic cleansing.  The Oromia Parliament (Caffee Oromiyaa) and OPDO have a moral obligation to dissolve their institutions and stand beside their people to resist the TPLF regime’s aggression.

The HRLHA believes that the gross human rights violations committed by the TPLF government in cooperation with OPDO in the past two and half decades against Oromo Nation have been pre-planned every time they have happened. TPLF regime security agents imprisoned, killed, tortured, kidnapped, disappeared, and evicted from their ancestral lands thousands of Oromo nationals, simply because of their ethnic backgrounds and to acquire their resources. The TPLF  inhuman actions against Oromo civilians are clearly genocidal, a crime against humanity and an ethnic cleansing, which breach domestic and international laws, and all international treaties the government of Ethiopia signed and ratified.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its deep concern over the safety and well-being of these Oromo nationals who have been arrested without any court warrant and are being held in different police stations, military camps, “Maekelawi” compound, the main federal police investigation center, in Central Addis Ababa and in different unknown places.

Therefore, HRLHA calls upon governments of the West, all local, regional and international human rights agencies to join hands and demand an immediate halt to these extra-judicial actions, terrorizing civilians and the immediate unconditional release of the detainees.

The HRLHA also calls on all human- rights defender non-governmental, civic organizations, its members, supporters and sympathizers to stand beside the HRLHA and provide moral, professional and financial help to bring the dictatorial TPLF government and officials to international justice.

The HRLHA is a non-political organization that attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. It works to defend fundamental human rights, including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and association. It also works to raise the awareness of individuals about their own basic human rights and those of others. It encourages respect for laws and due process. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies.

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  • UNESCO Headquarters Paris.
    7, place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris 07 SP France
    1, rue Miollis 75732 Paris Cedex 15 France
    General phone:
    +33 (0)1 45 68 10 00
    http://www.unesco.org
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)- Africa Department
    7 place Fontenoy,75352
    Paris 07 SP
    France
    General phone:
    +33 (0)1 45 68 10 00
    Website: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/africa-department/
  • UNESCO AFRICA RIGIONAL OFFICE
    MR.JOSEPH NGU
    Director
    UNESCO Office in Abuja
    Mail: j.ngu(at)unesco.org
    Tel: +251 11 5445284
    Fax: +251 11 5514936
  • Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
    United Nations Office at Geneva 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland Fax: + 41 22 917 9022 (particularly for urgent matters) E-mail: tb-petitions@ohchr.org this e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Office of the UNHCR
    Telephone: 41 22 739 8111
    Fax: 41 22 739 7377
    Po Box: 2500
    Geneva, Switzerland
  • African Commission on Human and Peoples‘ Rights (ACHPR)
    48 Kairaba Avenue, P.O.Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia.
    Tel: (220) 4392 962 , 4372070, 4377721 – 23 Fax: (220) 4390 764
    E-mail: achpr@achpr.org
  • Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
    Council of Europe
    F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, FRANCE
    + 33 (0)3 88 41 34 21
    + 33 (0)3 90 21 50 53
    Contact us by email
  • U.S. Department of State
    Laura Hruby
    Ethiopia Desk Officer
    U.S. State Department
    HrubyLP@state.gov
    Tel: (202) 647-6473

[1] Ethiopians Constitution of 1995; http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/research/Proclamation%20no.1-1995.pdf

A Bloody Crackdown on #Oromo Protesters in Ethiopia, Again. #OromoProtests December 6, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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???????????Say no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo people

A Bloody Crackdown on Oromo Protesters in Ethiopia, Again

The resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia
OROMO FIRST. Continued marginalization, discrimination and brutal crackdown against peaceful civilian Oromo protest is fast driving the resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.

By Felix Horne | for Human Rights Watch,

Student protests are spreading throughout Ethiopia’s Oromia region, as people demonstrate against the possibility that Oromo farmers and residents living near the capital, Addis Ababa, could be evicted from their lands without appropriate – or possibly any – compensation. Social media is filled with images of bloodied protesters; there are credible reports of injuries and arrests in a number of towns; and local police have publicly acknowledged that three students have died so far.

The current protests echo the bloody events of April and May 2014, when federal forces fired into groups of largely peaceful Oromo protesters, killing dozens. At least hundreds more students were arrested, and many remain behind bars. Both then and today, the demonstrators are ostensibly protesting the expansion of Addis Ababa’s municipal boundary into the surrounding Oromia region, which protesters fear will displace Oromo farmers from their land. But these protests are about much more: Many Oromos have felt marginalized and discriminated against by successive Ethiopian governments and have often felt unable to voice their concerns over government policies.

Of the student protesters detained in 2014, some have been released. Those I spoke with told me about the torture they endured as part of interrogations. But countless others remain in detention. Some have been charged under Ethiopia’s draconian counterterrorism law for their role in the protests; others languish without charge in unknown detention centers and military camps throughout Oromia. This week, five students were convicted of terrorism-related offenses for their role in the protests.

ALSO READ : Ethiopia at Risk of Disintegration: Oromo Opposition

There has been no government investigation into the use of live ammunition and excessive force by security personnel last year.

Ethiopia’s tight restrictions on civil society and media make it difficult to corroborate the current, mounting allegations and the exact details of the ongoing protests emerging from towns like Haramaya, Jarso, Walliso, and Robe. The government may think this strategy of silencing bad news is succeeding. But while the fear of threats and harassment means it is often months before victims and witnesses come forward to reveal what happened in their communities, they eventually do, and the truth will emerge.

The government should ensure that the use of excessive force by its security personnel stops immediately. It should then support an independent and impartial inquiry into the conduct of security forces in the current protests – and last year’s as well. Those responsible for serious abuses should be fairly prosecuted. This would be the best way for the Ethiopian government to show its concern about the deaths and injuries inflicted on the students, that it does not condone the use of live ammunition against peaceful protesters, and that those who break the law are appropriately punished.

http://www.tesfanews.net/bloody-crackdown-on-oromo-protesters/