August 18, 2020
Amnesty International apologized on Monday for posting video content that defends the “Oromo Protest.” The apology came just days after Ethiopians in social media campaigned (using the hashtag #dishonest amnesty) protesting Amnesty practices as related to activism on human rights issues in Ethiopia.
In a Twitter message on August 17, the organization said that “Amnesty International has always supported the human rights of all Ethiopians. We remain conscious of Ethiopia’s complex and evolving political climate. Our comms team recognizes the negative impact of our recent media output and apologises for posting it in error.”
Furthermore, it said that “Amnesty’s commitment to impartial and evidence based reporting underlies all of our outputs and we will continue to advocate for justice for all Ethiopians.”
Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States, Fitsum Arega, reacted to Amnesty International’s apology. He tweeted “Read Amnesty International’s apology. I expected high professional standards from a major global rights group. I hope this situation will be a teachable moment for AI. I trust AI going forward will strive for impartiality, fairness& neutrality in reporting on #Ethiopia.”
The rights group came under increasing criticism from Ethiopian activists over what many Ethiopians describe as biased activism in Ethiopia. When more than 240 non-Oromo and followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians were massacred by a mob mobilized by individuals and organizations (like Oromia Media Network) that link themselves to “Oromo Protest.”
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