Ethiopia: State of emergency approval by MPs 'disappointing and irresponsible'

Responding to news that the Ethiopian parliament has approved the government’s state of emergency declaration in full today, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, 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’s review of the state of emergency declaration was shared with MPs in an open letter yesterday ahead of today’s 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.

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