Call for the adequate protection of human rights defenders and the recognition of their important and positive role

Press statement

The Ethiopian Human Rights Defenders Center (EHRDC) is a board-led, non-partisan, and non-governmental organization founded in December 2019 and registered as of November 2020. It intends to protect HRDs in Ethiopia by strengthening their capacity, creating a safe working environment and defending and advocating for them.

EHRDC welcomes the release of journalist Belay Manaye, Tewodros Tsegaye, Bekalu Alamirew and poet Belay Bekele Weya who were imprisoned for several months following the declaration of state of emergency. We want to stress that releasing arbitrarily detained HRDs is an important step towards upholding the rule of law and respecting fundamental freedoms in the country. Similarly, we call for the government to release the remaining human rights defenders including journalists who have been in prison until the time of this statement due to their human rights work, and call the government to play its part in creating a political and civic environment that allows freedom of expression and other fundamental rights to be fully respected. For the government to effectively fulfill its responsibility to respect and enforce human rights, our organization strongly requests that it consider the important and positive role of human rights defenders, including journalists, by providing adequate protection.

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