Ethiopia: End Crackdown on Human Rights Organisations

Ethiopia‘s increasing crackdown on civic space and human rights organisations has raised widespread concern.

Development Diaries reports that the oldest independent human rights organisation in the country, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO), has been the target of increased intimidation, harassment, and threats by Ethiopian security and intelligence services in recent months.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW) findings, government security forces and intelligence officers have been following human rights organisation employees at their homes and places of employment since February 2024, demanding that they cease their work and reporting on human rights issues.

It is understood that the threats have escalated in recent weeks.

There have been reported attacks on independent media and dissident voices, which have persisted alongside efforts to stifle civic society.

Ethiopia’s crackdown on civic space and human rights groups is a grave violation of fundamental freedoms and democratic principles.

The Ethiopian government is undermining civil society’s essential role in promoting accountability and protecting human rights by stifling dissent, restricting non-governmental organisations, and harassing activists.

Furthermore, public trust is eroded and critical voices necessary for a healthy, functioning democracy are stifled in the process.

The government of Ethiopia should be reminded that the country ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) in 1993, hence, it should abide by the provisions of the treaty.

It is about time for the Ethiopian government to put an end to these oppressive measures and restore the rights of individuals and organisations working to uphold justice and human dignity in Ethiopia.

In its Freedom in the World Report 2024, Freedom House ranked Ethiopia as ‘not free’, with the country getting 20 points out of a possible 100.

Development Diaries calls on the Ethiopian authorities to end their escalating crackdown on civic space and independent domestic human rights organisations, and protect human rights and accountability in the country.

Source: Human Rights Watch

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