Amhara Association of America
May 30, 2020
Human rights organizations play a crucial role in defending marginalized communities in these unprecedented times of rising authoritarianism and conflict. Often being one of the few venues for silenced voices, reports by international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International establishes the foundation for the credibility of affected communities. Their accuracy, focus, and timeliness have an important role in ensuring accountability and justice. Thus, communities whose basic human rights and dignity were violated often await such reports with great enthusiasm.
It is with this spirit that we read the recent report by Amnesty International entitled “BIeyond Law Enforcement Human Rights Violators By Ethiopian Security Forces in Amhara and Oromia”. The report focused on “the communal violence that took place in the Amhara and Oromia regions of the country in 2019”1. We appreciate Amnesty International producing this report at a critical juncture for the country and we thank them for their engagement on human rights issues in Ethiopia. However, we have discovered serious gaps and omissions in this particular report that necessitates a response. It is imperative Ethiopians, policy makers, and the broader public are presented with all the facts, proper contexts, and omitted human rights violations that occurred in both regions not reflected in this report. The inaccuracies, lack of balanced investigation, and omissions makes one question the intent of this report. Human rights organizations such as Amnesty must be challenged when material and work is inaccurate or incomplete. Else, the mission of Amnesty, which is to bring awareness and improve the state of human rights in affected areas will diminish, along with Amnesty’s credibility, which would be consequential. With this background, we would like to share the following gaps and omissions particularly in the sections of the report that cover human rights issues in Amhara region:
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