Human Rights Challenges Remain Despite Considerable Progress: Chief Commissioner

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Addis  Ababa, January 31/2020(ENA) Even if Ethiopia has made considerable progress in terms of the overall human rights situation in the country, it is facing complicated challenges in this regard, according to Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Speaking to the Ethiopian News Agency, EHRC Chief Commissioner Daniel Bekele said Ethiopia has come a long way by opening up the political space significantly and reforming the repressive laws, which is a substantial gain.

“A couple of years back there was no space for political participation, media freedom was very severely restricted. However, the reform initiated by the current leadership has made a fantastic progress,” he noted.

According to the chief commissioner, the political reform, which has significantly revised the various laws and proclamations that stifled human rights in the past, has brought about a positive result.

Daniel noted that Ethiopia was criticized for clamping down democratic initiatives and actions for a long time. But now, the country has been experiencing a renewed initiative for political reform and democratization.

“Ethiopia has come a long way by opening up significant political space and reforming the repressive laws of the past, which is fantastic achievement,” he underscored.

Yet, the country is facing complicated human rights challenges that emanate from the past socio-economic and political fabrics.

He pointed out that “when we look at the current human rights situation, we face challenges and complicated human rights problems. Some of these are inherited from the past, others  are upshots of the social, political and economical crises of the country.”

In his half-year performance report to the House of People’s Representatives last week, Daniel said most of the human rights violations caused by extreme political views and abuses committed by government security forces have now declined, and improvements are witnessed in this regard.

The extreme political views are mostly based on identity and religion, the chief commissioner said, adding that some of the human rights challenges can be described as under the levels of human rights crisis situation.

“The human rights abuses are manifested in violent conflicts, the most severe ones resulting in lots of deaths, displacements. Citizens are in the most serious human abuses situation,” Daniel  stated.

The chief commissioner finally called on political elites to follow moderate political narrative and refrain from fanning divisive political discourses which have resulted in tremendous human rights abuses in different parts of the country.

Daniel underscored that national peace and stability are the responsibilities that rest upon the shoulders of everyone; and all citizens should contribute to the realization of human rights in the country.