Human Rights Consortium Lauds Revision of Key Human Rights Legislation

Addis Ababa  (ENA) Revision of key legislative proclamations on ensuring human rights were the critical steps taken by the government during the past two years, according to the Consortium of Ethiopian Human Rights Organizations (CEHRO).

In an exclusive interview with Ethiopian News Agency, CEHRO Executive Director Mesud Gebeyehu said revision of the civil society proclamation was the most important step taken  by the government.

“The first big move following the reforms by the government was the huge attention given to institutions, individuals and human rights advocates,” he said.

Revision of the anti-terrorism law and the ongoing revision of the media law are also major achievements.

“To respect human rights of citizens, police institutions have to be capable, courts strengthened, security institutions empowered and able to execute their duties without violating the rights of citizens,” the executive director noted, adding that these need modernizing the institutions.

Since the start of the reform, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has been working in close cooperation with civil society organizations and “we have contributed a lot to the revised proclamation of the commission, including the human rights articles,” he stated.

The House of People’s Representatives (HPR) has approved on Tuesday the revised bill for the establishment of human rights commission.

Mesud, however, observed that “despite all these revisions, widening of the political spaces, and the reforms, the human rights situation has not improved as desired due to lack of good will on the part of opposition political parties, ineffectiveness of institutions, and lack of communication among security institutions and the general public.”

Commenting on the recent incident following the killing of the popular singer Hachalu Hundessa, the executive director said the government was late to take action against the ring leaders.

“Artist Hachalu is well known for his bold political stands. Since he had such stature, the government should have acted quickly through its security structure to take swift and cautious measures,” he stated.

Mesud stressed that citizens have the right to work, freedom of movement and freedom of expression, among others. These should be secured in the country.

 

Source: Ethiopia News Agency