US, UK, Canada, Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands furious over “widespread arrests of ethnic Tigrayans, including Orthodox priests, older people, and mothers with children” by Ethiopian government

The governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, on Monday released a joint statement, condemning the widespread arrests and detentions of “ethnic Tigrayans, including Orthodox priests, older people, and mothers with children.”

President Joe Biden reads the newspaper before a phone call with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz) 
President Joe Biden reads the newspaper before a phone call with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

They wrote, “We, Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are profoundly concerned by recent reports of the Ethiopian government’s detention of large numbers of Ethiopian citizens on the basis of their ethnicity and without charge. The Ethiopian government’s announcement of a State of Emergency on November 2 is no justification for the mass detention of individuals from certain ethnic groups.

UK PM Boris Johnson 
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

“Reports by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Amnesty International describe widespread arrests of ethnic Tigrayans, including Orthodox priests, older people, and mothers with children. Individuals are being arrested and detained without charges or a court hearing and are reportedly being held in inhumane conditions. Many of these acts likely constitute violations of international law and must cease immediately. We urge unhindered and timely access by international monitors.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “We will continue to follow and uphold the independence of our judicial system while we advocate for the release of the two Michaels who have been arbitrarily detained by China."Justin Tang/The Canadian Press/File 
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “We will continue to follow and uphold the independence of our judicial system while we advocate for the release of the two Michaels who have been arbitrarily detained by China.”Justin Tang/The Canadian Press/File

“We reiterate our grave concern at the human rights abuses and violations, such as those involving conflict related sexual violence, identified in the joint investigation report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the EHRC, and at ongoing reports of atrocities being committed by all parties to the conflicts. All parties must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, including those regarding the protection of civilians and humanitarian and medical personnel.

FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison leaves Downing Street in London, Britain, June 15, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File PhotoREUTERS 
FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison leaves Downing Street in London, Britain, June 15, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File PhotoREUTERS

“It is clear that there is no military solution to this conflict, and we denounce any and all violence against civilians, past, present and future. All armed actors should cease fighting and the Eritrean Defense Forces should withdraw from Ethiopia.  We reiterate our call for all parties to seize the opportunity to negotiate a sustainable ceasefire without preconditions. Fundamentally, Ethiopians must build an inclusive political process and national consensus through political and legal means, and all those responsible for violations and abuses of human rights must be held accountable.”

Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen Photograph:( AFP ) 
Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen Photograph:( AFP )
Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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