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Ethiopia: News – UN Rights Body Says Ready to Support Impartial Investigation Into the Assassination of Haccaaluu and Subsequent Violence

In her latest message on global human rights update Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said her office was ready to support a thorough investigation in to the June 29 assassination of prominent Oromo artist Haccaaluu Hundessa.

Michelle Bachelet’s statement recognized the gravity of the assassination and the fallout in its wake. “In Ethiopia, despite notable efforts in recent years to bring about meaningful human rights-based reforms, the killing of an Oromo singer and activist in July triggered protests and inter-communal violence across the country,” the statement said.

“My Office is ready to support a thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigation by the Government into the killing and subsequent violence, and to support the Government’s ongoing legislative reforms.”

At least 176, ten of whom security forces, were killed in Oromia and in Addis Abeba in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of Haccaaluu. The killings were perpetrated by groups who targeted minorities including followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) in Oromia, and security forces who targeted protestors.

More than 9000 people were detained following the violence, according to the government’s own account. Arrests include prominent opposition politicians, academicians, journalists and several critiques of the government some of whom are now charged with terrorism, inciting violence and illegal possession of arms, among others.

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