APA) — UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zied Raad Al Hussien has said the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is seen as not independent by the human rights community in Geneva. In an interview he gave to the state broadcaster EBC, Al Hussein said “Ethiopian Human Rights Commission is not as yet what is called Paris Principle-compliant and not up to the status. Therefore, it is seen as not independent by the human rights community in Geneva.”
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) says it is working to ensure that constitutional human rights and fundamental freedoms are well protected through human rights advocacy; counseling; monitoring; conducting research into the country’s human rights situation; investigating into and addressing human rights violations, as well as paying particular attention to vulnerable groups.
The commission has been investigating a number of suspected human rights violations in the country, and presented its findings to the national parliament, including the clashes between security forces and protesters over the past two and half years.
“We have often been sent the report and investigations, but we can see how others in Ethiopia feel about the reports which are not quite independent enough and quiet fair enough, because the human rights commission does not have the status it should have.” Al Hussien said in the interview.
Al Hussien added that it is actually the people of Ethiopia who will make the decision, and convey to the human rights community, whether they believe the commission is truly independent.
“At the moment there is a suspicion that the reports are not from a fully-independent commission,” he declared.
The UN rights commissioner welcomed the release of a large number of people, including bloggers, political opponents and others who had been detained in relation to their participation in protests and their criticism of the Ethiopian government.


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