CSOs Joint Statement Calling an End to Violence Against Women in Ethiopia

The government must work to ensure to end the ongoing attack and violence that is targeting women. 

We, Ethiopian Women Human Rights Defenders Network (EWHRDN), Ethiopian Human Rights Defenders Center (EHRDC), Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO), Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy (CARD), Ethiopian Media Women Association (EMWA), Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia (AHRE), Siqqee Women’s Development Association (SWDA), Mujejuguwa Loka Women Development Association (MLWDA), Setaweet Movement, Timran Ethiopia, Health and Wholeness Ethiopia (HAWE) are profoundly concerned over the escalation of murder and gender-based violence against women in Ethiopia. The recent cases of Seble Nigusse and Tsegereda Girmay are two of many inhumanly committed crimes that have greatly saddened all of us. From time to time, physical, sexual, psychological, and economic forms of gender-based violence have increased in every corner of the country. This is due to the social structures and norms combined with pre-existing and systemic gender inequality, a root cause of violence against women and girls. 

After discussing the case with her family, we have learned that Seble Nigusse, a fourth child for her family, grew up with good care and had an excellent academic background starting from elementary school up to a postgrad degree, she was a very hardworking and exemplary woman who graduated both undergraduate and postgraduate studies with honors. She has worked at different Companies and Hibret Bank was the last organization that she has worked in as a Division Head for nine years. Her family and friends express Seble was caring, respectful, dedicated, decent, and supportive of her youngsters and her parents. After celebrating Christmas with her family, she went to her home (she moved out from her parents’ house two and a half months before the murder happened). On Tahisas  30, 2014, around 9 pm local time, her boyfriend, a suspect called Dagmawi Aragaw came home calling and texting her multiple times but unfortunately, she was asleep to take the call. When she woke up after some time and opened the door for him, he first punched her in her face with the key he was holding shouting to her why she didn’t open the door. Arguing their way into their home, he then stabbed her on the side of her stomach, her right leg, and other places multiple times with a knife. He then poured a sanitizer all over her body and he lighted her with a match. When she began screaming, he started choking her but the fire burned his hand and left her to put out the fire from his hand. At that time she ran out of the house screaming for help. Hearing her cry for help, their landlord came out and called for other neighbors in the vicinity for help. The suspect then took Seble to her car and drove her to the nearest hospital. The suspect told the nurses in the hospital that she got into an accident and she got admitted. After her family took her to a different hospital for better treatments, the victim Seble Nugussie passed away on Tir 8, 2014. The suspect was arrested some hours after he took her to the hospital. The case is being prosecuted at Arada sub-city First Instance Court. The court has given an appointment for 24/05/2014 and he is charged with murder.

We are also informed that a twenty years old female student from Arbaminch University was stabbed to death on Tahisas 23,2014 (December 30, 2022). Tsigereda Girmay was second-year hotel and tourism management student at Arbaminch University, Chamo campus. She was stabbed several times and passed away due to the attack. Police reported that the suspect is under custody and the case is brought to Zonal Court.

Therefore, we urge the government, media and CSO to follow up on the cases into the proper prosecution. Specifically: 

  • We urge the Ministry of Justice of Ethiopia to properly prosecute and investigate the Case of Seble Nigussie and Tsigereda Girmay, making sure justice is served. We urge the Government of Ethiopia to consider the prevalence of such violence and immediately reform the Gender-based violence laws, which will lead to the criminalization of gender-based violence and ensure full and comprehensive protection for women’s human rights.
  • We call on citizens of Ethiopia to condemn these acts of violence. 
  • We urge all Civil Society Organizations and media to condemn such acts and to be a voice for victims.


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