Ethiopia: The UN Human Rights Council should urgently hold a special session to address the ongoing human rights crisis

In a new letter, DefendDefenders, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P) called upon the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council to hold a special session on the ongoing human rights crisis in Ethiopia and to establish a robust investigative mechanism to bring to light reported human rights violations. 

On 3 November 2021, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) released a joint report that found evidence of widespread violations of international human rights, humanitarian, and refugee law by all parties to the conflict in Tigray, including the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, Eritrean Defense Forces, the Tigray Defense Forces, and Amhara regional special police and affiliated Fano militias. 

The report also found that many of these violations and abuses may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, and concluded that “the seriousness of these allegations calls for independent investigations and appropriate prosecution of those responsible. 

In lieu of that report and of the fact that the crisis continues to metastasize, DefendDefenders, Amnesty International, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and Human Rights Watch, call for a thorough inquiry by the UN Human Rights Council on the ongoing crisis. 

 

Read the letter in full.

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Human Rights Defender of the month: Kasale Maleton Mwaana

Kasale’s human rights activism precedes his years. The son of pastoralist parents from Ngorongoro district in northern Tanzania, he grew up seeing his parents and entire community having to defend their land and way of life against authorities who thought their lands could be put to better use. Now, at 25, Kasale is already one of the most recognizable advocates of his people’s cause, much to the ire of Tanzanian authorities.
“Our people’s struggle goes back many generations. It started with the pushing out of our forefathers from Serengeti to gazette Serengeti National Park in 1959, and then further evictions from the Ngorongoro crater to gazette the Ngorongoro conservation area in 1975. Since then, every generation has had to resist further evictions. It’s now my generation’s turn,” he says.

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