Geneva — “Deeply distressing reviews of sexual and gender-based violence, extrajudicial killings, widespread destruction and looting of private and non-private property by all events proceed to be shared with us, in addition to reviews of continued preventing in central Tigray particularly,” Bachelet mentioned. “Credible info additionally continues to emerge about critical violations of worldwide human rights legislation and humanitarian legislation by all events to the battle in Tigray in November final 12 months.”
“With out immediate, neutral and clear investigations and holding these accountable accountable, I concern violations will proceed to be dedicated with impunity, and the state of affairs will stay risky for a very long time to come back.”
The UN Human Rights Workplace has been receiving details about ongoing preventing throughout the area, significantly within the centre of Tigray area, in addition to incidents of looting by numerous armed actors. Dependable sources have shared details about the killing of eight protestors by safety forces between 9 and 10 February in Adigrat, Mekelle, Shire and Wukro.
Greater than 136 circumstances of rape have additionally been reported in hospitals in Mekelle, Ayder, Adigrat and Wukro within the east of Tigray area between December and January, with indications that there are lots of extra such unreported circumstances. The Authorities has mentioned investigations are beneath approach into the circumstances of sexual violence.
The Workplace has additionally managed to corroborate details about a number of the incidents that occurred in November final 12 months, indicating indiscriminate shelling in Mekelle, Humera and Adigrat cities in Tigray area, and reviews of grave human rights violations and abuses together with mass killings in Axum, and in Dengelat in central Tigray by Eritrean armed forces.
A preliminary evaluation of the data acquired signifies that critical violations of worldwide legislation, presumably amounting to conflict crimes and crimes in opposition to humanity, could have been dedicated by a number of actors within the battle, together with: the Ethiopian Nationwide Defence Forces, the Tigray Individuals’s Liberation Entrance, Eritrean armed forces, and Amhara Regional Forces and affiliated militia.
“With a number of actors within the battle, blanket denials and finger-pointing, there’s a clear want for an goal, impartial evaluation of those reviews – victims and survivors of those violations should not be denied their rights to the reality and to justice.
We urge the Authorities of Ethiopia to grant my Workplace and different impartial displays entry to the Tigray area, with a view to establishing the info and contributing to accountability, whatever the affiliation of perpetrators,” Bachelet mentioned.
Bachelet additionally expressed concern at detentions this week in Tigray of journalists and translators working for native and worldwide media. Whereas the journalists have now been launched, there have been worrying remarks by a Authorities official that these accountable for “deceptive worldwide media” can be held accountable.
“Victims and witnesses of human rights violations and abuses should not be hindered from sharing their testimony for concern of reprisals,” the Excessive Commissioner mentioned.
Bachelet welcomed current statements by the Authorities on accountability and measures taken on entry for humanitarian actors. She urged the authorities to make sure that these commitments are translated into actuality, and burdened that the UN Human Rights Workplace stands able to help efforts at advancing human rights, together with efforts by the Ethiopian Human Rights Fee aimed toward making certain accountability.