Ethiopian Organizations Write Letter to UN Human Rights Council Member States

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Eleven Ethiopian organizations operating in the diaspora have written an open letter to UN human rights member states.

Its intention is to “provide an explanatory note on the establishment of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia through resolution S-33/1 of 17 December 2021”.

Content of the letter below:

OPEN LETTER TO MEMBER STATES OF THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

We, the undersigned organizations in Europe and North America, with membership comprising Ethiopians and citizens of European and North American countries, address this letter to the High Commissioner and Member States of the Human Rights Council of United Nations (UNHRC) to provide an explanatory note on the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia through resolution S-33/1 of 17 December 2021.

As Ethiopians living abroad, we are deeply concerned about violations of the human rights of our compatriots and, at times, of our relatives. As such, our voices must be prioritized and duly considered on how any alleged human rights violations are to be investigated in Ethiopia. We believe that those responsible for any violations must be brought to justice, that the judicial sovereignty and independence of our country must be preserved, and that our national institutions must be strengthened with greater independence and capacity to promote and protect the rights of man.

The new mechanism established by the United Nations Human Rights Commission on Ethiopia is inappropriate. It is inappropriate as it does not contribute positively to the consolidation of the collaborative relationship between the HRC and a Member State (Ethiopia). Indeed, since 2018, Ethiopia has embarked on a genuine and exemplary transformation of its institutional human rights capacity, as evidenced by the reforms undertaken before, during and after the outbreak of conflict in the north of the country.

Furthermore, the establishment of an International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia amounts to unnecessary interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country and undermines its nascent national institutions. We believe that the most appropriate way to apply these mechanisms should be to complement rather than replace national bodies, including the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, which have demonstrated their willingness to carry out independently the task at hand. Furthermore, there is no reason to doubt that Ethiopia is able and willing to hold individuals or institutions criminally responsible, if and when they are involved in activities contrary to national and/or international laws (human rights). the man).

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, Attorney General’s Office, Military Court Prosecutors, Regional and Federal Police Prosecutors conducted their own independent investigations into all the allegations and prosecuted over 50 people, including military. In addition, an inter-ministerial human rights task force has been established to carry out thorough and impartial investigations into all cases of serious violations in order to bring the perpetrators to justice. The national task force engaged in a prompt and independent assessment of alleged violations in Tigray, Afar and Amhara and was empowered to initiate prosecutions and take corrective action. All of this demonstrates the Ethiopian government’s commitment to advancing respect for human rights and accountability in the country, in a transparent and coordinated manner.

In view of the points mentioned above, and since all Member States are preparing to meet in Geneva for the 50th ordinary session of the Human Rights Council for an oral briefing on the situation in Ethiopia on 30 June 2022, we , the undersigned organizations located in Europe and North America:

  1. Call for the dismantling of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia, as its creation is counter-productive and inappropriate as Ethiopia embarks on the implementation of the recommendations contained in the joint ECHR- OHCHR on Tigray, and as the country demonstrates its willingness to further institutionalize the protection of human rights and accountability for any violation thereof;
  2. Call on HRC Member States to instead use such a budget to finance the strengthening of Ethiopia’s judicial institutional capacity to investigate the atrocities committed in the Afar and Amhara regions by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) with the same rigor and mechanisms established for the joint EHRC-OHCHR investigation in Tigray while respecting Ethiopia’s judicial sovereignty as a long-standing UNHRC member state.

Initiated by:

  • Network of Ethiopians in Geneva for Action (NEGAT) Working Group
  • Defend Ethiopia Task Force in Europe (DETF-EU) organized in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands and Kingdom -United

Approved by:

  • Ethiopian American Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC)
  • Ethio-Czech Community zs (ECC)
  • Ethio-American Development Council (EADC)
  • Ethio-Canadian Network for Advocacy and Support (ECNAS)
  • Ethiopian Community in Spain (ECSP)
  • Associations of the Ethiopian diaspora in Belgium (EDAB)
  • Ethio-France Association for the Development of Ethiopia (EFADE)
  • Ethiopian Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation in Germany (EFDCG)
  • Ethiopian Public Diplomacy Network (EPDN)
  • GETFACTet (GETFACTet)
  • Ethiopia Global Advocacy Nexus (GLEAN)

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