Press Release: Improperly imprisoned EHRCO workers should be released immediately!

December 07, 2023
Addis Ababa

The Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) on a statement issues on December 05, 2023 announced that EHRCO sent experts to investigate the matter based on the petition submitted to the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) by the people whose houses were demolished due to the ongoing house demolition campaign around Addis Ababa. EHRCO stated that the 3 experts who were assigned to investigate the matter and the Organization’s driver as well as the company’s car were arrested by the police and are being detained at a police station in the Alem Gena area. EHRCO also announced that it is being pressured and intimidated in relation to its work. This action is not only an action that prevents the organization from fulfilling the purpose of its establishment and the employees from maintaining their professional freedom.

Ethiopia has ratified the international and regional human rights instruments of the United Nations and the African Union. Article 29 – 31 of the FDRE Constitution clearly states freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and the right to organize and hold peaceful demonstrations. Although the recently revised Civil Society Organizations Proclamation No. 1113/2019 has opened a new chapter for Civil Society Organizations working on advocacy in Ethiopia, the arrest of EHRCO professionals and the direct and indirect pressures observed on CSOs has left an unacceptable mark on the civic environment.

Ethiopia has the responsibility to respect and enforce the international and regional human rights agreements as well as the human rights protected by the Constitution and fulfill the conditions under which human rights are protected.

Therefore, we the undersigned CSOs strongly request that the arrested EHRCO workers be released immediately, and that the government bodies that carried out the arbitrary arrest be held accountable.

List of signatory Organizations of the Press Release:
1. Consortium of Ethiopian Human Rights Organizations (CEHRO)
2. Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO)
3. Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy (CARD)
4. Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR)
5. Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA)
6. Ethiopian Human Rights Defenders Center (EHRDC)
7. Union of Ethiopian Women and Children Associations (UEWCA)
8. Setaweet Movement
9. Inter Africa Group (IAG)
10. Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia (AHRE)
11. Women’s Alliance for Peace and Social (WAPS)
12. Network of Ethiopian Women’s Associations (NEWA)

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