Aqeel: The repressive approach in Ethiopia will not stop without fair and prompt trials
Pasha: We will escalate the "Dawit Kebede" case to the next session of the Human Rights Council
Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights condemns the killing of journalist “Dawit Kebede Araya”, who was working for Tigray Regional TV, in his car on Wednesday 20 January 2021.
Dawit was shot dead by the “security forces” along with his friend Barakat Barhi, near the “Adi Hosi” area in the city of Mikkeli. He was arrested on Saturday 17 January and released shortly after, without any explanation for his detention. Also, two others who were in the car were arrested when Dawit and Barakat were shot, but their identities have not yet been identified.
Maat Foundation expresses its concern about the recent escalation in repression and harassment of media professionals and journalists in Ethiopia. Most noteworthy and disturbing is that Dawit Kebede Araya left his job in November 2020 amid escalating military conflict in the Tigray region, and returned to work after the interim government brought back the TV program that had stopped broadcasting. Prior to that in January 2020, Dawit was one of the journalists working for the regional media who was arrested in Assosa, the capital of Benishangul Gumuz Regional State.
Ayman Aqil, head of Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights, held the Ethiopian police forces fully responsible for the deaths of the aforementioned, and demanded that they provide more details about the incident to the public opinion, and hold the perpetrators and those responsible accountable. The human rights expert added that this approach will not stop in Ethiopia as long as there are no fair and complete trials for all those involved in such ongoing violations. Aqil emphasized that the model of journalist Dawit Kebede reflects the policies pursued by the Ethiopian government in its oppressive approach, with the file of freedoms of opinion and expression in the recent period.
Abdulrahman Pasha, director of the research team at the African Affairs and Sustainable Development Unit of the Foundation, indicated that the Foundation is in the process of escalating the issue of “Dawit Kebede” and others who have been subjected to violations of freedom of opinion and expression in Ethiopia, to international human rights mechanisms, especially in the upcoming 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. United. "Pasha" stressed the need for a grouping of human rights organizations in order to stop these violations that Ethiopia witnesses almost every week without stopping.
Maat is deeply interested in the African continent affairs given the fact that it serves as a member organization of the Economic, Social, and Cultural Council of the African Union (ECOSOCC) and as a monitor in the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. Besides, Maat is the North Africa Coordinator for the NGO Major Group for Africa affiliated to the UN high-level political forum.