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Ethiopia: Human rights are "crippled," says Amnesty International

Postby revolutions » 14 Mar 2012, 02:37


Ethiopia: Human rights are "crippled," says Amnesty International

The the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation restricts human rights work.

A new Amnesty International report says Ethiopian law cripples human rights.

A law in Ethiopia is crippling human rights work in the country, forcing organisations to cut programmes, close offices and lay off staff, according to an Amnesty International report.

"Stifling human rights work: the impact of Ethiopia’s civil society legislation" describes how the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation puts in place restrictions on organisations working on human rights and allows for excessive government interference. The result is that people in the country have less access to independent human rights assistance.

“Rather than creating an enabling environment for human rights defenders to work in, the government has implemented a law which has crippled human rights work in Ethiopia” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s deputy Africa director.

“The space to make legitimate criticism is more restricted than ever.”

The law places severe funding restrictions on organisations working on human rights which are at the same time vaguely worded and therefore open to interpretation. Human rights defenders risk imprisonment if they violate these vaguely defined provisions. They are afraid to speak out, and often resort to self-censorship, in order to avoid repercussions.

The Charities and Societies Proclamation violates Ethiopia’s constitution and international human rights obligations.

The law has changed the face of civil society in Ethiopia. Human rights organisations have shrunk in number and in size, having to cut programmes, close offices and lay off staff. The law has been used by the government to freeze assets of more than US$1 million belonging to the country’s two leading human rights organisations.

“The claim of the Ethiopian government that they want to protect human rights cannot be taken seriously while this law continues to be implemented,” said Michelle Kagari. “The government must amend the law and remove restrictions on human rights activities.”

The Ethiopian people suffer most as a consequence of the law because human rights organisations cannot reach the most vulnerable. There continue to be unabated allegations of human rights violations, often linked to the Ethiopian security forces.

For example, during 2008, before the law was passed, the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA) provided free legal aid to over 17,000 women in addition to other activities that tens of thousands of participants benefited from. Today, EWLA is barely functioning, with limited legal aid for women provided by volunteers.

The Charities and Societies Proclamation, together with the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and the Mass Media Proclamation have all severely limited Ethiopian individuals’ freedom of expression and, specifically, their ability to criticise their government.

In this context the government of Ethiopia continues to be responsible for widespread human rights violations, under ever-decreasing scrutiny.

Amnesty International is urging the government of Ethiopia to amend the law to remove the restrictions on human rights activities, and to recognise, respect and protect the vital work of human rights defenders. ... paign=ai50

Re: Ethiopia: Human rights are "crippled," says Amnesty International

Postby Awash » 14 Mar 2012, 02:57

tyun.gif (23.1 KiB) Viewed 267 times
This must be devastating to your shabo savages.

A joint statement of over 40 countries on the human rights situation in Eritrea in HRC 19th Session
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 00:17 HRC

[Introduction by Asmarino Staff: In the 19th Session of HRC, over 40 nations have come up with a joint statement condemning the human rights condition in Eritrea. We hope this will be a prelude to pressuring the Eritrean government in the UN solely for its record on the atrocities it has been committing against its own people. We thank the human rights activist Elsa Chyrum for being there in Geneva, in person, fighting to bring this to fruition. And also our deepest gratitude to the Somalia Ambassador who presented the joint statement on behalf of the Eritrean people.]

HRC 19th Session

Joint Statement under Item 4

The Human Rights Situation in Eritrea

Madam President,
Somalia has been a strong supporter of the rights of the Eritrean people during their struggles for self-determination, even though this support came at a cost to Somalia. Somalia is greatly concerned, therefore, at the deteriorating human rights situation in Eritrea. After such a long struggle, the Eritrean authorities’ highest priority must be the rights of their people.

Madam President,
Somalia has itself suffered through long struggles. Somalia has repeatedly asked the Human Rights Council for assistance in overcoming its own problems, and we now bring the situation in Eritrea to the Council in the hope that the international community can help Eritrea to avoid the nightmare situation that has plagued Somalia for so long. For these reasons, Madam President, Somalia has the honour to deliver the following joint statement on behalf of over 40 countries.

The States that have joined together to make this Statement are deeply concerned by the human rights situation in Eritrea.

The Government of Eritrea has never held national elections and there are no political parties except the ruling party It does not allow independent media or international NGOs to operate.
Furthermore, the Government of Eritrea severely restricts freedom of religion and of belief, including through the use of arbitrary detention and physical abuse.

We are especially troubled by reports of inhumane prison conditions, disappearances, arbitrary detention, and extrajudicial killings.

Many people continue to flee the country to avoid forceful conscription into mandatory national service which requires men and women to serve for an indefinite period of time, with no clear criteria for completion of service. The government has detained family members of persons thought to have evaded national service, and operates a shoot to kill policy on its borders.

We also recall that the Security Council in UNSCR 2023 has condemned the use of the “Diaspora Tax” on the Eritrean Diaspora by the Eritrean Government to destabilise the Horn of Africa, deciding that Eritrea should cease using extortion, threats of violence, fraud and other illicit means to collect the tax. The Government of Eritrea to date has failed to comply.

Madam President,

The Eritrean Government has failed to address the two decisions by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which inter alia criticized the detentions of 21 prominent political prisoners and journalists in 2001 and called for their release.

As a result of our concerns:

• We call on the Government of Eritrea to end its use of arbitrary detention and torture of its citizens, and to release all prisoners of conscience

• We call on the Government of Eritrea to provide all relevant information on the safety, well being and, whereabouts of all detained persons, including persons missing in action, inter alia information pertaining to Djiboutian combatants.

• We strongly urge the Government of Eritrea to grant UN special procedures as well as international human rights and humanitarian organisations and NGOs access to the country and to permit them to operate without hindrance.

• We call on the Government of Eritrea to fulfill their international obligations and honour its commitments and abide by the terms of all relevant Security Council resolutions, including UNSCR 1907 (2009) and UNSCR 2023 (2011)

• Finally, we invite on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to brief the Human Rights Council on the ongoing Human Rights violations in Eritrea at the 20th Human Rights Council.

This statement was delivered on behalf of the following countries:

Albania, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Somalia, St Kitts and Nevis, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America,

You can see the joint statement as presented on Video here: ... eting.html ... th-session

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