HRLHA Press Release, March 3, 2018
The State of Emergency declared by the Ethiopian Council of Ministers was approved by the Ethiopian parliament on March 2, 2018. It is a gift to the Agazi killing squad, authorization to commit more crimes.
There is no extraordinary situation on the ground that poses a fundamental threat to the country that requires a State of Emergency declaration.as well, the declaration appears at odds with the decisions of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)’s willingness to allow more space for democracy and releasing political prisoners.
The current Ethiopian State of Emergency was approved by Ethiopian Lawmakers, and disregards the concerns of donor countries such as the US, the UK, Sweden and governmental agencies such as the UN, EU, AU and human rights organizations.
The state of emergency declared in Ethiopia in October 2016,which targeted Oromia and Amhara Regional States and was in effect for ten months, has victimized at large Oromos from all walks of life.
By the time the government declared a state of emergency on 8 October 2016, at least 1200 protestors had been killed by security forces in their homes, on the streets and in the neighborhoods, and women had been raped in front of their families. The HRLHA documented in its Urgent Action April 23, 2017 during this 10-month period of state of emergency, widespread human rights violations, including torture and other ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests and detentions as well as patterns of denial of access to justice.
For example, three brothers, Marabu Jamalo, Abdissa Jamalo and Tola Jamalo– were shot dead by the TPLF killing squad Agazi force in their home in Easter Arsi Zone in Shirka district on November 6, 2016 at 5:00 am. Their father Mr. Jamalo Hussein told the HRLHA reporter in the area that “my children have been killed by the fascist government killing squad, Agazi, not because they stole or did anything wrong, but only because they are Oromos”.Over 30,000 including prominent politicians, human rights defenders and activists were arrested and charged under the draconian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) of 2009.
Based on the state of emergency declared in October 2016, the new State of Emergency will simply allow the Agazi killing squad to commit more killings, mass imprisonments, forceful disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment against civilians, all of which could reignite unrest in Oromia and Amhara Regional States.
Therefore the HRLHA calls on the world community to condemn the issuance of this document that lacks a constitutional legal basis and put pressure on the Ethiopian government to rescind it.