92: Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in Ethiopia

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights meeting at its 38th Ordinary Session held in Banjul, The Gambia from 21 November to 5 December 2005;

    Considering that the Democratic Federal Republic of Ethiopia is a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights;

    Recalling that freedom of opinion and expression as well as the right to assembly are fundamental rights enshrined in international instruments ratified by Ethiopia, and notably Articles 9 and 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights;

    Recalling Article 7 of the Charter which ensures the right to a fair trial and the Guidelines and Principles on the Right to a Fair Trial and to Judicial Assistance in Africa developed by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights;

    Deeply concerned about the situation going on in Ethiopia since June 2005 and notably the arbitrary arrests and other serious human rights violations directed at suspected members and supporters of opposition groups, students and human rights defenders;

    Recalling that on 8th June and 1st November 2005 security forces killed and injured demonstrators during a demonstration protesting the results of the parliamentary elections in Addis Ababa and other towns;

    Concerned by the arbitrary detention of opposition leaders and journalists in Ethiopia;

    Noting the creation by the government of Ethiopia of a National Parliamentary Commission to investigate the facts concerning the acts of violence in the country;

    1.   Deplores the killing of civilians during confrontations with security forces;

    2.   Requests that the Ethiopian authorities release arbitrarily detained political prisoners, human rights defenders and journalists;

    3.   Calls on the Ethiopian government to guarantee, for any accused individual, the right to a fair trial as provided by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant international human rights instruments, including the right to seek pardon or commutation of sentence;

    4.   Calls on the Ethiopian government to ensure the impartiality, independence and integrity of the National Parliamentary Commission investigating the recent acts of violence in the country and to bring the perpetrators of human rights violations to justice;

    5.   Urges the Ethiopian government to guarantee, at all times, freedom of opinion and expression as well as the right to hold peaceful demonstration and political assembly;

    6.   Requests that the Ethiopian government guarantees, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of human rights defenders in compliance with international instruments especially the Declaration of Human Rights Defenders adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in December 1998;

    7.    Calls on the Ethiopian government to comply with the international instruments ratified by Ethiopia, most notably the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

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