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To the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Regional Government of Oromia State

  • Prohibit gott and garee administrative units from dispensing punishment without due process, from engaging in forced labor, and from interfering with the freedoms of association, expression and movement.  If decisive action is not taken to end these abuses, disband the gott and garee throughout Oromia. 

  • Take all necessary action to ensure that the police, armed forces and other security forces in Oromia abide by Ethiopia’s obligations under international law, including respect for the rights to freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, and from torture and other mistreatment.  In accordance with the Ethiopian constitution, ensure that all persons taken into custody be brought before a judge within forty-eight hours, and have the right of access to family members and legal counsel, in addition to other due process rights. 

  • Conduct an independent investigation into violations of human rights committed in Oromia.  Discipline or prosecute, as appropriate, government officials and members of the security forces at all levels who are implicated in abuses.  

  • Provide appropriate training to police and other security forces on human rights standards and the rule of law.

  • In accordance with Ethiopian law and international standards, ensure that prosecutors do not initiate or continue prosecutions in cases where an impartial investigation shows that criminal charges are unfounded.

  • Ensure, in accordance with international law, that persons whose rights have been violated have recourse to effective remedies.

  • Prohibit local and regional officials from using members of the security forces, school administrators and teachers to monitor students’ speech and political opinions.

  • Permit free and full access to domestic and foreign non-governmental organizations to monitor and report on the human rights situation in Oromia.

    To International Election Observers

  • Prepare comprehensive reports on the electoral environment that take into account all aspects of the election process, including underlying patterns of human rights abuse that affect the ability of voters to freely express political opinions and determine who they want to govern them.

    To Donor Governments

  • Recognizing that effective development programs depend on a government that respects the human rights of its citizens, publicly urge federal authorities in Ethiopia to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into human rights violations committed by security and police forces in Oromia and to make the findings public.  Closely monitor the progress of any government investigation and insist that its findings result in appropriate action to hold responsible officials accountable and provide adequate remedies to victims.

  • Demand that police officials and other members of the security forces responsible for human rights violations be held accountable.

  • Publicly call for more robust and comprehensive training on human rights standards for police and security forces and support such training.

  • Insist that the federal and Oromia regional governments immediately act to end rights violations by the gott and garee structures or urge that they be disbanded throughout the region.

  • Take steps to ensure that all forms of military assistance and cooperation with the Ethiopian government do not, directly or indirectly, aid or abet those responsible for human rights abuses committed in Oromia. 

    To the World Bank and United Nations Agencies Involved in Development in Ethiopia

  • Urge regional and federal authorities in Ethiopia to ensure that development imperatives are not used as a pretext to justify intimidation, harassment, forced labor and other human rights violations by the gott and garee structures.  Take action to monitor the human rights impact of the gott and garee system in Oromia.

    <<previous  |  index  |  next>>May 2005