The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) said the report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission regarding the deadly anti-government protests in the country misrepresents the number of deaths due to state-sponsored violence and considers the measures taken by security forces as mostly proportionate and appropriate.

The UNPO said in a statement that it is joining Human Rights Watch in responding to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission’s oral report to the parliament released on 18 April 2017. This report addresses protests in the Oromo, Amhara and southern regions of the country that took place between June and September 2016, before the country was locked down by the state of emergency.

“The Commission recognizes that the protests were driven by legitimate grievances, but it does not consider the response by security forces as excessive and seriously minimizes the abuses carried out by security forces to deal with protesters,” the UNPO said in its statement last week.

“The report reflects once again the lack of independence and impartiality of Ethiopian institutions, allowing us to reaffirm that the country’s claims that it is on a path towards democracy is only make-believe. The systematic refusal of the Ethiopian government to see external institutions carrying out independent investigations on human rights violations does nothing but highlight and bring attention to the abuses it perpetrated.”

The UNPO underlined that the composition of the Commission itself is partial, making it a simple mirror of government officials’ and security forces’ narrative.

 

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