Four Ethiopia Human Rights Council staff detained: statement

Four staff of the oldest non-state aligned human rights group, the Ethiopia Human Rights Council (EHRCO) have been detained, the Council said in a statement published on Thursday evening.

In a press statement, EHRCO, said three human rights expert and one driver, alongside the organization’s vehicle, have been detained by security forces on Thursday while observing demolishing activities around Addis Ababa. The EHRCO staff went to the site of house demolitions after receiving complaints from citizens.

EHRCO additionally said its facing various other threats and pressures by the Ethiopian government security forces.

“The EHRCO urges the government to refrain from committing illegal arrests and various types of pressures and to immediately release its human rights staff members who are in prison at the time of this statement,” it said.

Authorities in Addis Ababa and the surrounding Oromia region are currently undertaking large scale house demolition of mainly low income residents accusing them of being “squatters”. Residents in turn accuse authorities of conducing sudden demolitions and making them effectively homeless.

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