Appeal for urgent action:
The Ethiopian Government is utterly responsible for the unlawful killings at the Ardsade Irrecha (Thanksgiving) Oromo Celebration
To: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.
Oromia Support Group Australia extremely shocked about the killings of innocent Oromo civilians at the Ardsade, few Kilometers from the capital city (Finfinnee – Addis Ababa) during today’s Irrecha (Oromo Thanksgiving) celebration on 2 October 2016.
The Ethiopian Federal forces, racially affiliated and heavily armed, known as Agazi and part of the select force of the ruling Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), violently opened fire and killed more than 140 people out for the celebration (please see attached evidence).
Ethiopia’s tight restrictions on civil society and free media make it difficult to external sources to verify the current, mounting killings, and the exact details of the ongoing agonising situation. This situation is made worse by the severe restrictions on access to Ethiopia which affects foreign media and neutral international organisations to query this brutality.
Particularly, since November 2015, every day we are seeing and hearing heartbreaking images and videos of hundreds of Oromo civilians (including children) being beaten to death and killed by shooting. There are credible reports of severe injuries and arbitrary arrests in many locations that the Ethiopian government armed forces and authorities are unable to deny and publicly admitted the killings. We are concerned that this pattern will continue to worsen.
We respectfully believe your office the has a duty to use its diplomatic relationships with the reciprocal expectation of protecting human rights and legitimate democratic governance. These accusations reveal not only violations of human rights but also serious of a criminal act and legal process, and without external accountability, many vulnerable people will die.
We, therefore, urge you to:
- Request and conduct a country visit to Ethiopia as soon as practicable, in order to investigate, amongst other things, the massacre of Oromo civilians in Oromia particularly for the last two years including the more than 140 killings of Oromo civilians at the ArdSade Irrecha celebration.
- Raise this case with the international community and other relevant United Nation bodies, and punishment of the perpetrators, in line with the UN Guidelines on the right to remedy.
- Raise this case and the severe and worsening trend that it represents (and which the prominent bodies, such as, European Parliament resolution on the situation in Ethiopia (2016/2520(RSP) by the European Union and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, 13 September 2016 that requests be given access in order for it to conduct a human rights assessment, particularly in the Oromia and Amhara regions.
- Urge Ethiopian officials to invite relevant UN and AU human rights mechanisms, including the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to visit Ethiopia.
Thank you for your giving attention to this very urgent matter.
Oromia Support Group Australia
ArdSade Killings by the Ethiopian army
Photo: 2 October 2016