The governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, UK, and US have released a joint statement condemning the mass detention of individuals in Ethiopia on the basis of their ethnicity and without due process. The statement declared that the Ethiopian government’s announcement of a state of emergency last month provides no justification for such detentions.
The statement referenced reports by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Amnesty International (AI), which describe widespread arrests of ethnic Tigrayans that included the elderly, clergy and mothers with children. The statement alleges that the individuals are being arrested and detained without charge or a court hearing and pointed that many of these acts “likely constitute violations of international law.” The statement called for an immediate end to these acts and urged the Ethiopian government to grant “unhindered and timely access” to international monitors.
The statement further noted:
We reiterate our grave concern at the human rights abuses and violations, such as those involving conflict related sexual violence, identified in the joint investigation report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the EHRC, and at ongoing reports of atrocities being committed by all parties to the conflicts. All parties must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, including those regarding the protection of civilians and humanitarian and medical personnel.
It is clear that there is no military solution to this conflict, and we denounce any and all violence against civilians, past, present and future. All armed actors should cease fighting and the Eritrean Defense Forces should withdraw from Ethiopia…
The conflict between Ethiopia’s government forces and the leadership of Tigray has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths and displaced millions of individuals, with more than nine million having become dependent on food aid. The US government has already imposed multiple sanctions in relation to the conflict on Eritrean defense forces and other related parties beginning in August and again last month.
The Ethiopian government has thus far not responded to the statement.