The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) strictly denounces that the UN General Assembly elected Ethiopia on November 12, 2012 to serve in the UN human Rights Council for the next three years starting from January 1, 2013.
In the last two decades the Ethiopian Government led by EPRDF/TPLF has been repeatedly condemned by regional and international human rights organizations including the US State Department and UN independent experts and UN Special Rapporteurs for its heinous human rights crimes against its citizens.
Among others, the Ethiopian Government limits freedom of association and assembly particularly for members of opposition groups, and security forces have used/using excessive force to break up peaceful demonstrations and continue to restrict free press. Twenty one year’s poor human rights record of Ethiopian Government shows, thousands illegally detained, tortured, kidnapped, disappeared and or killed, who were members of opposition groups or accused of being insurgents. After the death of the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meles Zenawi the human rights suppression continued under his successor Prime Minster Hailemariam Dessalegn Government all over the country including the capital city Addis Ababa, regional states of Ogaden, Oromia, Sidama, Amhara, Gambela and others.
According to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights official Web Site, the responsibilities of the United Nations Human Rights Council is stated as “The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 states responsible for strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe”
Electing countries with poor human rights records like Ethiopia to the UN human rights council will erode the trust of the world community for UN Organization
Besides, it will dare the determination of the United Nations to protect the fundamental human rights of the peoples which is stated as the preamble to the Charter of the United Nations “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small
Therefore, the UN general assembly should pay attention to the reports of independent civic organizations and the UN special expert’s and UN Rapporteur’s (Representative of the Secretary – General) reports on Ethiopian human rights situation and revise the result of the election.