ESAT News (July 11, 2017)
Thirty-eight Members of the European Parliament wrote a letter to the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs calling for action against the Ethiopian regime in connection with brutal crackdowns and sexual violence.
The MEPs want see actions against “the crackdown on the protests that occurred in the Ethiopian regions of Oromia, Amhara and the South region in 2016, the continuing systematic sexual violence against ethnic minority women across the country, as well as the case of British citizen Andy Tsege, currently held on death row.”
The EU lawmakers said they are writing the letter to convey their deep concern over human rights abuses in Ethiopia, following up from the European Parliament resolution adopted in May that calls for an independent investigation into the killings of protesters.
The letter recalled that the Ethiopian government had ignored the continuing calls from civil society, non-governmental organisations and international institutions to allow independent investigations into the violence and violations of human rights committed by its security forces during the demonstrations.
The MEPs also questioned the impartiality of the report by the government sponsored commission on the killings. “Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), whose impartiality is questionable, released on 18 April 2017 the findings of its own inquiry. This report is highly controversial for significant reasons: not only does it underestimate the number of casualties, but it also considers the security measures taken as mostly ‘fair and proportional,’” the letter said.
The letter also mentioned Andy Tsege, a British father of three on death row in Ethiopia. “One such prisoner is Andy Tsege, a UK citizen and father of three from London. Andy is a campaigner who had previously addressed the European Parliament on the need for freedom and democratisation in Ethiopia. In June 2014 he was kidnapped and rendered to Ethiopia as part of the Ethiopian Government’s crackdown on political opponents and civil rights activists.”
“We ask that the European External Action Service issue a statement that condemns the violence with which the protests have been met and call for an independent investigation into the conduct of the security forces when dealing with these protests, as well as for the end of sexual violence in Ethiopia,” the letter concluded.