At least 1,000 arrested from Ethiopia: UN | Conflict Issues


Many of those imprisoned by the Tigrayan tribes with a strong UN warning can ‘deepen divisions and resentment’.

About 1,000 people, mostly Tigrayans, have been detained in Ethiopian cities since the government launched a two-week strike, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

The emergency came to a close on November 2, a year after a dispute broke out between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and allies of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a political party that controls the northern region of Tigray.

The notice, which is valid for six months, allows suspects to be detained without trial for the duration of the state emergency and allows for door-to-door searches without permission.

“Nearly 1,000 people are believed to have been arrested in the last week or so – while other reports indicate that the risk is very high,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement.

“This is a very serious matter because many of the detainees are said to be people from the Tigrayan. ”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed “concern over reports of unjust imprisonment and incarceration, which fuels divisions and hostilities,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Ethiopian government spokesman Legesse Tulu did not respond to a request from Reuters for comment. Police have previously stated that the arrests were not for ethnic reasons but for the purpose of arresting TPLF supporters.

Lawyers say thousands of Tigrayans have been detained without permission since the announcement, including several. UN staff.

UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Liz Throssell told reporters in Geneva that 10 UN staff members, as well as 34 drivers linked to the agency, were still being held.

“We urge that all those still in prison be released immediately,” he said, adding that if this did not happen, “a separate or impartial court should reconsider the reasons for their detention, or be prosecuted.”

Throssell acknowledged that it was “difficult” for the remaining UN staff to carry out their duties, adding, “This is why we have reports of at least 1,000 arrests, but we cannot clearly state the number.”

Prisons are often described as “poor”, he added, “most of the detainees are being held in overcrowded police stations and do not know why they are being detained.

Thousands of people have died and more than 2 million people have been evicted from their homes over a dispute between Ethiopian and TPLF officials last year. Hundreds of thousands are now living conditions such as hunger.

The TPLF, which once dominated Ethiopian politics, is accusing the federal government of being a force to be reckoned with. The government is accusing the TPLF party of trying to return to its former rule. Both are charged with felony criminal mischief for a type of war, the UN said.





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