Among other things, House Resolution 128 calls for Ethiopia’s government “to allow an independent examination of the state of human rights in Ethiopia by a rapporteur appointed by the United Nations.
(Human Rights Watch)―On April 10, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution encouraging Ethiopia’s government to increase respect for human rights, rule of law, and democracy. This non-binding resolution, combined with recent statements from the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, sends a strong signal to Ethiopia’s new prime minister that the US expects significant reforms ahead.
House Resolution 128 was passed in large part because of Ethiopian-American voters concerned with the Ethiopian government’s rights record, who worked together to make themselves an important constituency. Their persistent efforts despite the efforts of the Ethiopian embassy and their Washington lobbyists led to an impressive 108 Congressional representatives from 32 states co-sponsoring this resolution. Hopefully they can build on this success and advocate for binding legislation on Ethiopia.
Among other things, the resolution calls for Ethiopia’s government “to allow an independent examination of the state of human rights in Ethiopia by a rapporteur appointed by the United Nations.” Ethiopia has repeatedly rebuffed efforts to investigate allegations of serious crimes by government forces and has not let in any UN Special Rapporteur to investigate allegations of abuse since 2007. With a new prime minister, now is the time for Ethiopia to change course and allow independent experts to investigate, including the Special Rapporteurs on torture and freedom of assembly.
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