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Ethiopia Rejects Amnesty International Allegations, Acknowledges Some Charges

By Staff Reporter

Attorney-General-EthiopiaJuly 19, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Ethiopian Attorney General has rejected allegations by Amnesty International accusing the government of committing “grave violations between December 2018 and December 2019 in some parts of Amhara and Oromia regions.

In a statement it released on Saturday, the office of Attorney General dismissed the Amnesty International report under the title “Beyond Law Enforcement: Human Rights Violations by Ethiopian Security Forces in Amhara and Oromia” as fundamentally flawed.

Yet the attorney general stated that as some of the alleged violations were found partially true and “most of the cases have been under investigation by the government in order to identify those accountable before the issuance of the amnesty report.”

Unlike previous reports of the organization, the attorney general said, it has found this report not meeting the criteria and guidelines of report compilation.

The office said it had formed a committee drawn from the attorney bureaus of Amhara and Oromia regions, the police, universities, and civil society organizations (CSOs) to investigate the credibility of the alleged human rights violations.

The efforts made to hold consultations with the senior leadership of Amnesty International about the report were not successful due to the inadequate response of Amnesty International, it stated.

The statement further noted that the investigation made by the committee has revealed that the report which lumped together all measures taken by the government to ensure rule of law as a violation of human rights is partial and biased.

AI’s report did not take into consideration the objective reality of the country and contained other fundamental flaws, it noted.

The statement also pledged an independent investigation, which it noted had been recommended by the Amnesty International report, “at the appropriate time.”

It added that the country’s security forces had strong community support “to ensure law and order” at the locations of human rights violations alleged in the Amnesty International report.

It added that the report lacked neutrality and reached wrong conclusions by citing the accounts of few and incredible as well as partial witnesses about very complex conflicts and security problems.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was awarded the peace prize in December for sweeping political reforms and restoring ties with neighboring Eritrea after two decades of hostilities, acknowledged that “the reform process has at times experienced bumps” but called the report “a one-sided snapshot security analysis that fails to appropriately capture the broader political trajectory and security developments."

The government statement rejected “malicious claims” of extrajudicial killings and the mass detentions but said if rights violations occurred, an investigation will be conducted “at the appropriate time."

The Attorney General has called on Amnesty International to review again the report it issued last May regarding the human rights situations in Ethiopia.

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