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Ethiopian Human Rights Commission calls for release of prisoners arrested during state of emergency

Ethiopian Human Rights Commission
Source : Ethiopian Human Rights Commission

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Toronto – As the state of emergency imposed in the Amhara region of Ethiopia and beyond comes to an end this week, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission( EHRC) is calling for the release of prisoners. 

“EHRC also calls for the restrictions imposed in regions be lifted and resumption of social services,” it said. 

In a brief statement it published this week on its website, it said  it urges for the continuation of the release of persons who had been detained following the end of the applicability of the state of emergency proclamation. The Federal government released a few prisoners that were detained in Awash Arba , a military training camp,  in connection with the state of emergency measure. 

However, it made new arrests despite the end of the state of emergency. In the past week, two prominent politicians have been arrested on alleged grounds of “inciting violence” and they have not appeared in court despite being arrested for over a week now. 

The martial law was initially imposed for six months but it was extended for another four months after the government made claims that there were unfinished works. The initial stated objective of it was “to disarm fano forces.” Reports from local sources indicate that Fano forces are now more armed than before and larger in number. 

On the other hand, there have been verified extensive rights abuses in the region by government forces including extrajudicial killings of civilians and drone attacks on civilian targets including schools and hospitals. Hundreds of civilians are massacred, many more wounded and thousands displaced, not to mention the economic hardships and social crisis that the situation brought about in some regions – primarily the Amhara region of Ethiopia.  

EHRC said it has been following up and investigating the impacts of the state of emergency legislation on human rights, and has been recommending measures that need to be taken in the course of implementing the state of emergency. 

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