Ethiopia's Human Rights Commission Admits Protesters Were Killed, but Shifts Blame Away From Government

The Ethiopian government's Human Rights Commission has declared that 669 people were killed during the uprising of 2016, a figure that is significantly lower than other numbers reported by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

The unveiling of the report took place on April 18 in a parliament that is completely controlled by the government. Addisu Gebregziabher, the head of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, read out the commission’s main findings to Ethiopian parliament, which placed the burden of responsibility for the bloodshed largely on opposition groups: “The violence happened because protesters were using guns and security forces had no other options”.

Gebregziabher said the “negligence” of security forces was also a contributing factor, albeit a minor one.

Several human rights organizations, however, have reported that it was largely security forces firing on unarmed demonstrators.

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