Open Letter to His Excellency Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Open Letter to His Excellency Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Re: Legal and human rights protection for persons of Tigrayan origin especially in the security sector including the military, intelligence, and police arbitrarily and illegally detained by the Ethiopian Government

Your Excellency,

First and foremost we would like to express our deepest gratitude for your and ICRC’s commendable work in alleviating the suffering of people in civil wars including in Tigray. 

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared war on Tigray on the 4th of November 2020. Today we are writing to bring to your attention the matter of tens of thousands of Tigrayans who were serving in the security sector, mainly in the military, peacekeeping, police, intelligence who were collectively disarmed, dismissed, arbitrarily arrested, and continue to be illegally detained incommunicado in various parts of the country. At current estimation, we are aware of approximately 17 thousand active-duty members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces – from all branches of the services including peacekeeping missions abroad – and 7 thousand federal police officers who are currently incarcerated in incommunicado various detention camps without any due process of law. We are hereby submitting a partial list of names of those in illegal and arbitrary detention, including some of those that have died under the circumstances mentioned above.  

In addition, officials of the Ethiopian army and police have announced that some of those detained have been summarily executed. Those in detention, their situation negates all kinds of human rights including the right to a fair trial, legal representation, family visitation, adequate food and health care, and so forth. Reports that have trickled out, however, indicate that they are being held under the most inhumane conditions. We have learned that some soldiers subjected to these conditions have committed suicide from chronic stress and others have died due to lack of critical medical care. 

In the six months since the start of the war, the families and loved ones of these military and law enforcement officers have been unable to contact them. Nor have they been charged and brought to a court of law. Reliable sources, have also informed us that high-ranking Tigrayan officials have been spirited to Eritrea where they are liable to be subjected to torture and are undoubtedly held in even more terrible conditions. 

Your Excellency, 

What we would like to draw your attention to in all of this is that these men and women are members of the defense force and law enforcement that have served their country for years and in many cases decades. Some have served in peacekeeping missions across the world thus contributing to regional and world peace. Respect for such brave souls that put their own lives at risk in the service of humanity and the international community is a well-recognized norm. The Ethiopian government has, however, opted to systematically profile, purge and collectively punish Tigrayan members of the security sector by violating their basic human rights. This crackdown, which was initially promoted as government reform, singled out Tigrayans in trumped-up charges, harassment, discrimination, and imprisonment. Over the next two and half years Tigrayan identity was criminalized through various means including speeches that utilize dehumanizing language like ‘daytime hyenas’ and government-sponsored ‘expose’ documentaries that singled out “Tigrinya speakers”  blame an entire people for various atrocities. These were followed by high-profile arrests including that of  Major General Kinfe Dagnew. Two years later however no proof for allegations has been provided to the court and he is still detained. It also bears noting that ethnic-based imprisonment of Tigrayans continues today, especially in and around Addis Ababa. 

We are, therefore, writing this to call upon Your Excellency’s leadership and ICRC to:

  1. Secure the legal safeguards of human rights for all detained under international law;  
  2. Secure human treatment and conditions of detention for all detainees regardless of the reasons for their arrest;
  3. Alleviate the suffering of the families of the detained including by restoring communications with the detainees;
  4. Improve the locations and conditions of their detention including food, water, sanitation, and health services;
  5. Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the situation of those arbitrarily and illegally detained.
  6. Make publicly available the names, places of detention, and cause for the incarceration of all  Tigrayan military and law enforcement officials currently under imprisonment.
  7. Ensure that their human rights, including the right to a fair and free trial, protection from torture, and right to family visitation, are protected. 

Sincerely,

List of Signatories 

Tigrai Hub ( Tigraihub.com), Omna Tigray (OmnaTigray.org), Stand With Tigray (SWTigray.org), Wefri Harnet (Justice4Tegaru.com), Women of Tigray (@womenoftigray)

CC: UNSC; United Nations; UN Peacekeeping; UN Human Rights; Council of the European Union; European Commission; U.S. Department of State; Human Rights Watch; Amnesty International 

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Dissolve mahibrekidusan like PJDF

    She set an excellent example ! Lock him up ! Al Mariam , political stooge of PP party, is advocating for genociders! put him behind bars! Dismantle mahibrekidusan , mouse in the church . We just propose you to replace this business and political organization with other devout church members ! We are not inciting a violence !They are concrend only for their future as businessmen if they are retaken by other ethnic members !We know they were supporting the government via Daniel Kibret and others . Now, they start to oppose as soon as the amahara people in Bahirdar and other towns start to stand against the ruling party,PP! The excutive staff are mostly from Amahara and they have many members in INSA, working with Temsegen Tiruneh.Mahibrekidysan brainwash every student while he or she is freshman in colleges and they facilitate the process of collecting teaxes from every student when he land a job and work for this political organizations disguised as religious entity as a spy wherever they work . Simply saying, they have members in any public organizations because they delude them in the name of religion and bible lesson. They claim youth will be taken by protestants if mahibrekidusan take care of them which is false. We have priests, pastors and church scholars , but mahibrekidyasn twist them to work them by bribing them and defame the strong church leaders and scholars and prevent them from getting accepted by the entire laity of EOTC. Dismantle the gathering of mahibrekidusan and replace it by a newly formed association. Mahibrekidusan donot want to talk about the killings of priests , monks, mothers, children and buring of monasteries and churches and chose to play with words and strived to hide its evil nature with words like “natural right, church is in exile , church is under serious condition since 1950, etc we are not asking them to tell us the history of the church since 1950 they must have determined to adresss the current burning and deadly case resulting in an unmaginable atrocities on our church leaders and the laity! We want to see mahibrekidysan get destroyed and dissolved. However, I am referring only only to the instition a,nd gathering but not violence on any person. I dnot care if you misunderstood and misinterprete it. They must be destroyed because they are one of those who support the war on Tigray and plan of the ruling party! Dissolve mahibrekidusan like PJDF(Higdef):they are a threat for our country , laity of EOTC(EOTC=Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church) our church leaders:mahibrekidusan is a pure political organization. Deacon Engineer Abayeneh kasse affirmed this fact saying: we delayed presenting our recent statement since we have members who bear diffrent political, socio-environmental stance which is ridiculous pretext to take into consideration when it comes to deal with serious matter that the church is facing and unacceptable to see soccaled religious organization to bring political issue at the table and decide critical matter being driven by political motive while gathering under the name of the church whose hhead is the crucified Christ! EOTC is in exile because they made this exile, killings of our people by taking part in the campaign against Tigray in the guise of destroying a handful TPLF leaders! ማህበረ ቅድሳን ተብየዎቹ እኛ ከሌለን ወጣቱ ሁሉ ጴንጤ ይሆናል ቤተክርስቲያን ጉግማንጉግ ይወራታል፥ትግራዋይ ኦርቶዶክስ የሆነ ሁሉ አንድ ሆኖ ቤተክርስቲያንን ማዳን አለበት ወዘተ የሚሉ አጀንዳዎችን ያራግባሉ፥፥የቤተክርስቲያን አገልጋዮችን ስም በማጠልሸት ና ከቤተክርስቲያን እንዲርቁ በማድረግ እኛ አለንላቹ እያሉ ከበርበሬ፥ሽሮ እንጀራ እስከ አስመጨና ላኪ በመሰማራት ቤተክርስቲያን ስም እየነገዱ የፖለቲካ አላማቸውን በስውር ያራምዳሉ፥፥እኛ በዚህ ጊዜ ናሰዓት የ ቤተክርስቲያን ታሪክ አስተምሩን አላልናቸውም ቤተክርስቲያን ስደት ላይ ናት፥ ተፈጥሯዊ መብታቸው ነው የሚል የቃላት ጨዋታ በዘመናችን ለሚፈፀመው ና እየተፈፀመ ላለው የ ወገናችን ዕልቂት ይመጥነውም፥፥ጅምላ ዕልቂት ፈፃሚዎቹ እንኳ ኢሳያስና አቢይ ባደባባይ ባመኑበት ወቅት ቤተክርስቲያን ስደት ላይ ናት የሚል የፈሪ ና የ ንፍገት ከ ሀላፊነት የመሸሽ፥ ጎጠኝነትን ለመደበቅና አዛኝ ቅቤ አንጓች ስሜትን የሚገልፁ ቃላትን ማሽቀንጠር የቤተክርስቲያን ስርዓት አይደለም፥፥በደብዳቤያቸው (መግለጫም ማላገጫም በሉት እንደአረዳዳቹ)፭ኛ ቁጥር ላይ በአንጻሩ ሌሎች አካላት በቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱ ይዞታዎች ላይ ያለአግባብ ለሚያነሱት ጥያቄ መልስ ለመስጠት በሚያደርገው ሂደት ረጅም ርቀት በመሄድ ይቅርታ ሲጠይቅ ይታያል)በዚህ አረፍተ ገር ማህበሩ በሌሎች ብሄር አባላት የሚነሳን ጥያቄ አለመቀበላቸውንና ሀሳባቸውን በአሽሙር መልክ ለመግለፅ ተጠቅመውበታል፥፥ይንቀላቸው፥ማህበሩ መፍረስ አለበት እንርሱ ሲደግፉት የነበረ ፓርቲ ሕዝባችንን እየገደለ ያለው፥አሁን መግቢያ መውጫ ስለጠበባቸው አማራ በብዛት እየተገደለ ስላለና በአማራ ክልል የሚባለው አብዛኛው ሕዝብ መቃወም ስለጀመረ የለኮሰው እሳት እቤቱ ስለገባ ነው፥፥ስደት ላይ ናት ኳይት ቬግ ስቴትመንት በአካል ምዕመናን ሲሰደዱ ስደት ላይናት ይባላል አሁን ግን እየታረዱ እየተቃጠሉ ነው የከፋ ሰቆቃ ላይ ናቸው፥፥ማህበረ ቅድሳን ተብየዎቹ እኛ ከሌለን ወጣቱ ሁሉ ጴንጤ ይሆናል ቤተክርስቲያን ጉግማንጉግ ይወራታል፥ትግራዋይ ኦርቶዶክስ የሆነ ሁሉ አንድ ሆኖ ቤተክርስቲያንን ማዳን አለበት ወዘተ የሚሉ አጀንዳዎችን ያራግባሉ፥፥የቤተክርስቲያን አገልጋዮችን ስም በማጠልሸት ና ከቤተክርስቲያን እንዲርቁ በማድረግ እኛ አለንላቹ እያሉ ከበርበሬ፥ሽሮ እንጀራ እስከ አስመጨና ላኪ በመሰማራት ቤተክርስቲያን ስም እየነገዱ የፖለቲካ አላማቸውን በስውር ያራምዳሉ፥፥እኛ በዚህ ጊዜ ናሰዓት የ ቤተክርስቲያን ታሪክ አስተምሩን አላልናቸውም ቤተክርስቲያን ስደት ላይ ናት፥ ተፈጥሯዊ መብታቸው ነው የሚል የቃላት ጨዋታ በዘመናችን ለሚፈፀመው ና እየተፈፀመ ላለው የ ወገናችን ዕልቂት ይመጥነውም፥፥ጅምላ ዕልቂት ፈፃሚዎቹ እንኳ ኢሳያስና አቢይ ባደባባይ ባመኑበት ወቅት ቤተክርስቲያን ስደት ላይ ናት የሚል የፈሪ ና የ ንፍገት ከ ሀላፊነት የመሸሽ፥ ጎጠኝነትን ለመደበቅና አዛኝ ቅቤ አንጓች ስሜትን የሚገልፁ ቃላትን ማሽቀንጠር የቤተክርስቲያን ስርዓት አይደለም፥፥በደብዳቤያቸው (መግለጫም ማላገጫም በሉት እንደአረዳዳቹ)፭ኛ ቁጥር ላይ በአንጻሩ ሌሎች አካላት በቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱ ይዞታዎች ላይ ያለአግባብ ለሚያነሱት ጥያቄ መልስ ለመስጠት በሚያደርገው ሂደት ረጅም ርቀት በመሄድ ይቅርታ ሲጠይቅ ይታያል)በዚህ አረፍተ ገር ማህበሩ በሌሎች ብሄር አባላት የሚነሳን ጥያቄ አለመቀበላቸውንና ሀሳባቸውን በአሽሙር መልክ ለመግለፅ ተጠቅመውበታል፥፥ይንቀላቸው፥ማህበሩ መፍረስ አለበት እንርሱ ሲደግፉት የነበረ ፓርቲ ሕዝባችንን እየገደለ ያለው፥አሁን መግቢያ መውጫ ስለጠበባቸው አማራ በብዛት እየተገደለ ስላለና በአማራ ክልል የሚባለው አብዛኛው ሕዝብ መቃወም ስለጀመረ የለኮሰው እሳት እቤቱ ስለገባ ነው፥፥፥ማህበሩ ስለ ህልውናው በመጨነቅ ቃላትን አንገላቶ ድብቅ ስሜቱንና ፍላጎቱን ይገልፁልኛል ያላቸውን ለስድስት ወራት ቆይቶ ጨለማን ተገን አድርጎ በብልፅግና ፖርቲ ተስፋ የቆረጠ ለታ እሳቱ የአማራ ክልልን መለብለብና ማቃጠል ከጀመረ በኋላ ማህበሩ ስጋቱ ከልክ ካለፈ በኋላ መግለጫ አወጣ፥፥አስመሳይ የምዕመናንን ቁርበት ሲግጥ ከርሞ

  2. God Forgive Mahibrekidusan

    ወለእመ ተራድአ በመኳንንተ ዝንቱ ዓለም፡ወተሠይመ ለቤተ ክርስቲያን እምሃቤሆሙ ይትመተር ወይሰደድ ውእቱኒ ወኩሎሙ እለ ተሳተፍዎ”(ፍ.ነ. ፻፸፭) ማለትም፦ “በመንግስት ድጋፍ የተሰየመ ግለ ሰብ ጭንጋፍ ነው”። 

    This is your own interpretation ; because you do twist it to match your tribalistic nature;
    መተረ ቆረጠ ሰየፈ ነው፥በዚህ አረፍተ ነገር ይለይ ይሰደድ ይውጣ የሚል ትርጉም ው የሚሰጠው፥፥የምስክር አፈታት ነው፥፥ በመሰረቱ ቅዱስታው ከመሪዎች የተባበሩት እንዴት በምንና ለምን መቼ ው ምንስ አደረጉ ይብራራልን፥፥ ማህበረ ቅዱሳን ዘረኝት እሳቸው እንዳይመረጡ በምትካቸው(በፕትርክና መንበር)አቡነ ዮሴፍን ለማስቀመጥ ሲያሴሩ እንደነበር ሁሉም ያውቃል፥፥ከተመረጡም በኋላ እኛ ከጎንዎት ነበርን በጣም ደስብሎናል ወዘተ እያሉ ሲወክቱም ነበር፥፥ማህበረ ቅዱሳን ተብየዎቹ በጥቅማቸውና በስልጣን የመጣን አገልጋይ ሲያጠምዱ ሲያካክሱ ቆይተዋል ፥፥አሁንም በ ተላላኪዎቻቸው ዳንኤል ክስረትና ቀሲስ አስተርአየ ጽጌ ተራ የስድብ እምታ ክሶችን ያሰማሉ፥፥
    በዘሀበሻ የተለጠፈው በትክክል አልተተጎመምዕ“ወለእመ ተራድአ በመኳንንተ ዝንቱ ዓለም፡ወተሠይመ ለቤተ ክርስቲያን እምሃቤሆሙ ይትመተር ወይሰደድ ውእቱኒ ወኩሎሙ እለ ተሳተፍዎ”(ፍ።ነ። ፻፸፭) ማለትም፦ “በመንግስት ድጋፍ የተሰየመ ግለ ሰብ ጭንጋፍ ነው”። በቦታው እንዲቀመጥ የተባበሩት ሰዎችም ህይወት የሌለውን ህይወት ያለው በማስመሰል የተባበሩ ናቸውና ጭንጋፎች (ምቱራን) ናቸው። “ይትመተር” ማለት፦ ይጨንገፍ ማለት ነው። ” ከአለም ነገሥታት መኳንንት ጋር የተባበረ፥ከመካከላቸውም በቤክርስቲያን ውሥጥ የተሾመ ይለይ ይውጣ ነው ትርጉሙ፥ከዚህ ጋር የተባበሩ ና የተሳተፉ ሁሉ እንደ እርሱ ይለዩ ይውጡ፥፥

    ነገር ግን ቅዱስነታቸው በምን ና ለምን መቼ ተባበሩ ምንስ ተፅዕኖ በሕዝብ ላይ አደረሱ ይመለስልን ለ ፈጠራ ፖለቲካዊ ፍጆታ መፅፍን መጥቀስ አግባብ ይደለም፥፥የአሁኑ ካህናት የቤክህነት አባቶች ከልፅግና ጋር አልተባበሩም እንዴ ዕልቂትን መንደር እየመረጡ አላወገዙም ከዚህ በይ ምን ይምጣ ሊወገዝ ሊለይ የሚገባው በደል በዚህ ልክ የለም አታወናብዱ በወረወራችሁት ሸንበቆ(ጥቅሳ ጥቅስ)እንደምትመቱ እወቁት፥፥ሕዝብን አታታሉ ው የምንለው ጥልና ብጥብጥ ልዘራ ሳይሆን ሕዝበ ክርስያንን ልናቀራርብ እንስራ፥ለዚህ ው እኛ መሪም የለም የሀይማኖት አባትም ክዶናል ያልነው፥፥The verse you cited to accuse and defame His Holiness does point at you as well. What have you doen so far when churches set on fire and monks and nuns killed , mothers and children massacred , priests massively slaughetered??? I had a friend from Hawass he told Mahibrekidusan is registered as NGO (business organization in disguise) he told they bring political views and matters in the table when they gather to talk with their colleagues. They brainwah many youngeters while they are freshmen students at colleges and universiteis hoping they could tax them later when they gradute and get job .
    እህልን በጥቅምት ልጅን ጡት yilihal endinew meseri dirigit new MK. you could ask anyone who knows mahibrekidyusan!!

    Mahibre Kidusan (MK)is always chasing and accusing like the Devil roaring around . Many Church servants do know this fact . If you donot take part in their propagnad and money making event , MK defame you. My friend told” MK sends women to defame dedicated and devout monks and took a shot of what they do and record their voice .

    PS: Excerpts from the Ethiopian Patriarch’s speech
    (On the slaughter of his flock in the Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia)

    …My children! I am pleading to the Creator in my prayers with tears about your suffering. I have been asking the government daily. Today, I am grief-stricken. I just want to weep like a child. My heart is mourning. I am crying daily and have not slept. We asked the government thinking that things would get better but we haven’t seen change. Rather, I got my children slaughtered. While I taught you saying ‘Peace! Peace!’, those who do not know it disturbed you. My children! Do not hold a grudge against me…

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