At least 1,000 detained in Ethiopia: UN.
The United Nations has said reports indicate that Ethiopian officials have detained at least 1,000 people after declaring a state of emergency due to a year-long war with opposition forces from Tigray.
The detainees, most of whom were of Tigrayan origin, were arrested in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, as well as in the cities of Gondar, Bahir Dar, and elsewhere “on suspicion of being affiliated with or supporting the Liberation Front of the Town of Tigray (TPLF), “according to a declaration of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“The state of emergency in force in Ethiopia runs the risk of aggravating an already dire human right and humanitarian situation in the country. Its provisions are extremely broad, with vague prohibitions that go so far as to encompass ‘indirect moral’ support.
The government has labeled ” terrorist groups, ‘”Liz Throssell, a spokeswoman for the office, said in the statement.
He also called for the immediate release of 10 local UN employees and approximately 34 drivers hired to work with the organization, noting the poor conditions of their detention, including overcrowding at police stations.
Throssell added that the state of emergency “explicitly suspended” judicial review leaving the government with “broad powers of arrest and potentially indefinite administrative detention for the duration of the emergency measure.”
He also said that administrative detention should only be in “exceptional” cases when someone presents “a direct and compelling threat.”
Last week, the Ethiopian government warned UN and African Union personnel that they would be punished by whatever laws they violated during the country’s ongoing civil war.
“UN personnel residing in Ethiopia must respect the country’s law,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Dina Mufti. “They live in Ethiopia, not in space. Whether you are a UN or AU staff member, you will be held accountable.”