Ethiopia: Arbitrary killings continue unabated, State Dep’t report says


ESAT News (March 6, 2017)

Ethiopian regime security forces used excessive force against protesters throughout the year in 2016, killing hundreds and injuring many more, the U.S. Department of State said in its annual report.

Quoting Human Rights Watch (HRW) 2016 report the Department recalled  security forces killed more than 500 protesters. The protests were mainly in Oromia and Amhara regions. At year’s end more than 10,000 persons were believed still to be detained, the report said.

According to the report, the most significant human rights problems were security forces’ use of excessive force and arbitrary arrest in response to the protests, politically motivated prosecutions, and continued restrictions on activities of civil society and NGOs.

“There were numerous reports the government and its agents committed arbitrary and unlawful killings. Security forces used excessive force against protesters throughout the year, killing hundreds,” the report said.

“Mistreatment reportedly occurred at Maekelawi, official detention centers, unofficial detention centers, police stations, and in Kilinto federal prison. There were reports police investigators used physical and psychological abuse to extract confessions in Maekelawi, the federal crime investigation center in Addis Ababa that often held high-profile political prisoners. Interrogators reportedly administered beatings and electric shocks to extract information and confessions from detainees.”

Torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of political prisoners have continued in the year while hundreds, including children, have disappeared.

The report also recalled that calls for an independent investigations into the atrocities were rejected by the regime.