Position paper for the United Nations Human Rights ... - ViaMUN

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Position paper for the United Nations Human Rights ... - ViaMUN

ViaMUN 2-6. Juli 2012

United Nations Human Rights Council

Delegation of Ethiopia

Lilian Pungas

Position paper for the United Nations Human Rights Council

Regional instability in Eastern Africa

As a representative of the Delegation of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in

UNHRC I want to draw attention to the following abuses of human rights in Ethiopia:

1. Restriction of the basic rights of freedom of expression, associationand

peaceful assembly and arrests of political opponents and journalists with the

help of Ethiopians anti/terrorism law

The elections in 2005 in Ethiopia were not considered as free and open elections

according to the international standards. Since then there have been many mass arrests

of political opponents, dissents and peaceful demonstrations. During the elections in

2010 international NGOs like Human Rights Watch observed a strong political

intimidation on civilians to vote for the ruling EPRDF (Ethiopian People's

Revolutionary Democratic Front) party.

Just one week ago, on June 27, 2012 Ethiopian high court convicted 24 journalists,

political opposition leaders, and others under Ethiopia’s deeply flawed anti-terrorism

law. The Ethiopian government should immediately drop all politically motivated

charges against the defendants and amend the law’s most pernicious provisions,

which are being used to criminalize free expression and peaceful dissent.

2. Displacement of the indigenous people in Lower Omo valley

The Ethiopian government’s security forces are forcing indigenous communities in

Ethiopia’s Lower Omo valley to relocate from their traditional lands through violence

and intimidation, leaving them in many cases without their livelihood in order to lease

the land to different foreign and national investors. The full implementation of

government’s plan to relocate the communities could affect up to 200 000 persons.

3. Harassment of those who work for different human rights organizations with

the help of the Charities and Societies Proclamation

Ethiopia should respond positively to the visits of the Special Rapporteurs of the

UNHRC, work more intensively with different bodies of UN to guarantee the safety

of human rights defenders and let international NGOs and UN enter the crisis areas.


4. Violence and societal discrimination against women

Ethiopia should continue combating FGM (female genital mutilation), undertake

awareness-raising campaigns about it, guarantee fully the rights of women and

prosecute and sanction those responsible for different criminal acts (pride abduction,

FGM, human trafficking)

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