Human Rights Case Filed Against Ethiopian Government

Lawyers acting for Tigrayan civilians have filed a complaint against the Ethiopian government for committing a wide range of human rights violations in its war against Tigrayan rebel forces at the African Union’s human rights commission.

Legal Action Worldwide (LAW), Debevoise & Plimpton, and the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) said in their complaint that the Ethiopian government committed mass killings, sexual violence and military targeting of civilians, that “could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, but further investigation would be required.”

The complaint also contained testimonies from Tigrayan civilians regarding mass and extrajudicial killings; gender-based sexual violence; arbitrary arrest and detention; mass displacement of civilians; destruction of property, food, and religious sites and cultural heritage; ethnic discrimination; and enforced information blackouts.

There was also a request in the complaint which urges the African Commission to order Ethiopia to stop abuses and allow aid in the region along with the protection of civilians. 

“The Government of Ethiopia is obliged by both its Constitution and international law to protect all its citizens and residents from mass atrocities and violations of their human rights. Where it is unable or unwilling to uphold the same, as is the case here, we must seek recourse to competent international institutions. Hence, our urgent appeal to the African Commission,” Donald Deya, Chief Executive Officer of PALU.

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