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103rd Special Report: Respect the Rule of Law

“Article 17(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) clearly provides that no person may be subjected to arbitrary arrest, and no person may be detained without a charge or conviction against him.

Nevertheless, according to complaints EHRCO received from families, in violation of these constitutional provisions and international human rights standards, several people are being kept in custody in different jails and at the Central Crime Investigation Department (Maikelawi) after having been arrested without due process of law and without being formally charged.

In this 103rd Special Report, EHRCO has compiled complaints received from families of victims on the situation of detainees who were arrested without a court warrant from different areas of the Oromia region and Addis Ababa on suspicion of having links with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). According to the complaints, once appearing before a judge, the detainees have been remanded in custody on several adjournments with the request of police for additional time to conduct investigation. Some of the detainees have had their files closed by courts for police could not come up with sufficient evidence to warrant their continued detention and some of them were allowed bail. However, in defiance of these court orders, police continued detaining the individuals by the time this report was being compiled.”

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Urgent Apeal: Release or Prosecute Detained Persons in Nekemte Town and its Environs!

“Police in Nekemte town, Eastern Wellega Zone in the Oromia Region, detained fifteen people since August 23, 2007 without taking them to a court of law until the date of issuance of this report. The police came with a search warrant stating that they are suspected of hiding arms and papers calling for violence. However, although they searched their homes and found nothing, they took away the individuals without an arrest warrant and held them in detention since then. Three of the detainees are Executive Committee Members of EHRCO’s Nekemte Branch Office.”

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102nd Special: Report Eviction of People from their Homes in Addis Ababa should be stopped!

“In this 102nd special report, The Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO), reports the cases of thousands of citizens who resided in the different sub-cities of Addis Ababa, whose houses were demolished by the city Administration without sufficient notice and no compensation. It also investigated the apparent discriminatory nature of the demolition of residential houses that took place in Oromia Regional State, Wolemera Woreda; Burayu Gefersa Sigameda Kebele.”

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101st Special Report: EHRCO Condemns Attacks Perpetrated against Innocent Civilians!

” The Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) has utterly denounced the various attacks that took place at various times. It has also been calling for the perpetrators of the attacks to be brought to justice, the provision of commensurate compensation for the victims of the attacks and for the government to provide citizens with appropriate protection as well as to find lasting solutions to problems.

In this 101st Special Report, EHRCO makes a detailed account of the civilian causalities that occurred as a result of the bombing attacks on May 10 , 2007 at a Bazaar program staged in Meqet Woreda, Flaqit town located in Northern Wollo, Amhara Regional State and in Jijiga and Degahabour towns of the Somali Regional State on May 28, 2007.”

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99th Special Report: Torture of Detainees should Stop!

” The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Ethiopia has adopted,  prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment under article 5. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Ethiopia is a party, affirming the right under Article 7, further provides that this right is inalienable and inviolable (Article 4 (2)). The FDRE Constitution on its part under Article 18 (1) provides that everyone has the right to protection against cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. While Article 15 provides that no person may be deprived of his life save as a punishment for a serious criminal offence determined by law, Article 14 provides that these rights are inviolable and inalienable. Contrary to these Constitutional and treaty provisions, however, Tsegaye Ayele Yigzaw (Mr.) has been tortured to death.

Tsegaye Ayele Yigzaw, 34, was married, head of a family of three and member of Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP). He was a radiologist in Gondar Hospital. Because of persecution by the police, he moved to Debre Markos town where he was employed as a radiologist in a private clinic.

He was arrested by the police without court warrant on December 18, 2006 at 8:45 a.m. on his way to office. After detained for eight days in Debre Markos and Bahr Dar towns, he was transferred to Addis Ababa Crime Investigation Department where he was interrogated whether he was member of a front called Patriotic Front and whether he knows a particular (named) person.”

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95th Special Report: Prisoners have the Right to be Treated with Respect

“Ethiopian Human Rights Council stands for the rule of law, democracy and the respect of human rights. Since its establishment it has been reporting to the concerned government organs of human rights violations that need particular attention.

Following the May 2005 general elections, and the November mass protest, opposition party leaders, journalists, and leaders of civic society organizations have been thrown to jail and are suffering from poor prisons conditions. These political prisoners are enduring maltreatment, and some of them were transferred from one person to another without any explanation of justification.

Not only prisoners but also their visitors are mistreated and embarrassed. Parents, children, relatives and friends of the prisoners are not allowed to visit the prisoners unless they bear kebele I D card. ID cards issued by government or private employers or even a passport is not enough to be admitted to visit prisoners. Moreover, the fact that the prisoners are put into different zones gives visitors a hard time, as a visitor is not permitted to visit prisoners who are in different zones at a time. This prohibition is particularly depression as it applies only to CUD leaders, journalists and leaders of civic society organizations, and not to all prisoners. This unjust and discriminatory treatment is against article 25 of the FDRE constitution which states that: “All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law………the law shall guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection with out discrimination….”

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