Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

New report by human rights watchdog alleges the mistreatment of ethnic Tigrayans who were singled out after returning to conflict-torn Ethiopia.

Thousands of ethnic Tigrays repatriated from Saudi Arabia have been detained or forcibly disappeared after returning home to Ethiopia, a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report said.

The allegations set out in detail by HRW on Wednesday came during a brutal conflict that erupted between federal government troops and fighters from the northern Tigray region in November 2020, killing tens of thousands of people and causing a huge humanitarian crisis in its territory. left behind.

The Ethiopian government, which announced a six-month state of emergency in November, deny to expel Tigraye on the basis of their ethnicity. It says only people suspected of supporting the Tigrayan forces, which last month withdrawn in their region, was investigated. Ethiopia’s own state-affiliated rights watchdog estimated that thousands were trapped in the cattle.

In its report, HRW said that Tigranians repatriated from Saudi Arabia, where hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians had migrated over the years to look for work, were singled out and detained in the capital, Addis Ababa, and elsewhere against their will upon their return. .

Others were prevented from returning to Tigray, Ethiopia’s northernmost region, after being identified at roadside checkpoints or airports and transferred to detention facilities, the report said.

“Ethiopian authorities are prosecuting Tigraians deported from Saudi Arabia by detaining them illegally and forcibly disappearing,” said Nadia Hardman, a refugee and migrant rights researcher at HRW.

There were no immediate comments from Ethiopian authorities.

The right-wing dog interviewed Tigraians deported from Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia between December 2020 and September 2021, during which tens of thousands were repatriated under an agreement between the two countries.

Some of the Tigrayan deportees detained after arriving in Ethiopia reported that they had suffered physical abuse, including beatings with rubber or wooden rods. Others have been accused of collaborating with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which ruled Tigray before the start of the war and is now considered by the federal government to be a “terrorist” group.

Two deportees told HRW that they were taken with other men by the police from migrant centers and transported by bus to coffee farms, where they were put to work in appalling conditions with no pay and little food. Many were denied contact with family and feared that their family thought they were still in Saudi Arabia.

“The Ethiopian authorities’ detention of thousands of Tigrayan deportees from Saudi Arabia without informing their families of their arrest or stay amounts to forced disappearance, which also violates international law,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the United States’ Horn of Africa envoy Jeffrey Feltman will visit Ethiopia on Thursday for meetings with senior government officials to discuss peace talks, in the latest international effort to end the conflict.

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