Thursday, December 22, 2005

ETHIOPIA: massacres, arrests prompt EU call for sanctions

European parliamentarians are calling for "targeted sanctions" against the Ethiopian government unless the human rights situation in the country improves significantly.

Members of the European Parliament are urging the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), and the European Council, made up of European heads of government and state, to consider imposing targeted sanctions against members of the Ethiopian government following the political violence that has recently gripped the country.

In a landmark 15-point resolution passed unanimously in Brussels last week (Dec. 16), EU lawmakers called for "the immediate establishment of an independent international commission of inquiry, under U.N. responsibility, to investigate the human rights abuses and to identify and bring to justice those responsible."

The resolution is the third voted by the European Parliament since last July. MEPs expressed their concerns about the situation in Ethiopia and the violations of human rights against those who survived the massacres committed by the regime%u2019s security forces in June and early November.

The parliament said it was "disturbed by recent news of large-scale human rights abuses following a massive and unprecedented crackdown, in which political leaders, human rights defenders, independent journalists, NGO workers and young people were arrested in Addis Ababa and in different parts of the country."

Full report (Brussels IPS/ST) 20 Dec 2005.


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