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Ethiopia: MPs’ decision to approve state of emergency disappointing and irresponsible

    March 02, 2018

    Commenting shortly after the Ethiopian parliament approved the state of emergency declaration in full this morning, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty said:

    “It is deeply disappointing and irresponsible that Ethiopia’s MPs have chosen to restrict the people’s fundamental freedoms further instead of listening to their legitimate grievances. At this critical time of heightened political tension and protests, what is needed in Ethiopia is greater respect for human rights, not less.

    “Under the last state of emergency, we documented a series of grave human rights violations including unlawful killings, forced displacement, arbitrary arrests and detentions, as well as torture and other ill-treatment of detainees. Aspects of this new declaration abysmally fail to comply with established international human rights principles.”

    Amnesty International’s review of the state of emergency declaration was shared with MPs in an open letter dated 1 March ahead of their debate.

    The letter called on MPs to refrain from approving the emergency measures unless there were clear amendments ensuring they are proportionate and comply with Ethiopia’s human rights treaty obligations, both regional and international.