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Update On Joint UN And Ethiopian Human Rights Commission Investigation On Tigray

GENEVA/ADDIS ABABA (10 September 2021) – The joint investigation by the UN Human Rights Office and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into alleged violations of human rights, humanitarian and refugee law committed by all parties to the conflict in Tigray has concluded its field work phase, with a final report to be published on 1 November 2021.

Between 16 May and 20 August this year, the joint investigation team conducted investigations in Mekelle, Wukro, Samre, Alamata, Bora, Maichew, Dansha, Maikadra, Humera, Gondar, and Bahir Dar, as well as in Addis Ababa. The team carried out more than 200 interviews with victims and witnesses, regional and national authorities, civil society organisations, religious institutions, medical and judicial authorities and humanitarian agencies operating in Tigray. The team also examined documents, videos, photos and other material. While the mission was unable to access some locations due to rapidly evolving security concerns and other difficulties, it spoke to victims and witnesses who fled from these areas.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will deliver an update to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, 13 September 2021 on the situation of human rights in the Tigray region and on progress made in the context of the joint investigation, as mandated by the Council in July this year. Her statement will be followed by an Enhanced Interactive Dialogue, including a speech by the EHRC’s Chief Commissioner Daniel Bekele, and other speakers. The session will be webcast live on https://media.un.org/en/webtv/ and broadcast-quality footage will be made available.

“In spite of numerous security and logistical constraints, our joint team has managed to carry out a robust, impartial, independent investigation that will provide a faithful account of the human rights situation in Tigray and should contribute to accountability and redress for victims of the serious violations we have documented,” Bachelet said.

Bekele added that the joint investigation team had carried out its work in line with commonly agreed terms of reference, methods of work, a deployment and an information collection plan.

“We were always guided by the principles of do-no-harm, independence, impartiality, transparency, objectivity, confidentiality, integrity, sound standard of proof and consistency in applying a victim-centred approach,” Bekele said.

The team is currently analysing the full range of information collected. The final report, which will include the findings, conclusions and recommendations, will be issued on 1 November 2021.

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