End the arbitrary arrests of Tigrayans

Tigrayans in Addis Ababa have been arbitrarily arrested and detained without due process in what appears as ethnically motivated detention. Act now and demand the immediate end of this wave of arbitrary arrests.

One man arrested on Friday 2 July said that police raided his snooker game business around 7 pm. They began to harass and beat customers and employees. They demanded to see their identity documents. They then took five people, all ethnic Tigrayans, to the nearby police station. Identification cards in Ethiopia mention the ethnicity of the holder. One of those arrested that day explained that the police kept them in the open air on a rainy night. They were still there the next day as more people of Tigrayan origin joined them. They were 26 Tigrayans in the police station on that Saturday.

A similar pattern of arbitrary arrests targeting Tigrayans has also been observed in different parts of Addis Ababa.  Many witnesses testified of scenes of mass arrests or police stations filled with people speaking Tigrinya.

Amnesty International is not aware of any internationally recognizable criminal charges against those still in detention in the cases documented by the organization.While some people have been released on bail, scores of others remain in detention, and the whereabouts of others are unknown.

Ethiopian law requires police to present detainees in court within 48 hours of arrest to review the grounds for arrest. Promptly bringing detainees before a judicial authority is a crucial safeguard against torture, ill-treatment, and enforced disappearance.

Take action now.

Call on Prime Minister Abiy to end this wave of arbitrary arrests.

Demand that Ethiopian authorities ensure that all detainees are either promptly charged with internationally recognized crimes and given fair trials, or immediately and unconditionally released.