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Abduction, Missing, and Death of Women in Tigray

MekelleŠć°30 May 2024 (Tigray Herald)

Urgent Appeal to: Tigray Interim Regional Administration, Mekelle, Tigray

Subject: Abduction, Missing, and Death of Women in Tigray

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, write this letter to express our graveconcern and to demand urgent action regarding the escalating incidents of abductions,missing persons, rape and deaths of women and girls in Tigray. These heinous actscontinue to devastate the lives of countless individuals, predominantly women and girls,compounding their suffering and impeding the region’s path to recovery and peace.

The atrocities committed during and after the recent war on Tigray constitute grossviolations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Despite the cessation ofactive hostilities, these incidents persist, highlighting the persistent insecurity and lack ofaccountability in the region.

Detailed Incidents:Betelihem Gebremichael: A 10th grade student at Kallamino Special High Schoolwent missing for 10 days and was found dead in a lake near Debri, Hadnet Subcity,Mekelle, Tigray. The cause of her death remains unknown.

Mahlet Teklay: A 16-year-old girl was abducted by unknown individuals in Adwa,Tigray, while on her way to language classes. Her parents have been asked for aransom of millions of birr for her return. She has been missing for over seventy days.

Social Media Reports: Numerous reports of abductions and missing womencirculate on social media, with families and friends sharing images and contactinformation in hopes of locating their loved ones. This trend is increasingly worrying assuch abductions are becoming recurrent.

It is to be remembered that on August 19, 2023, Zewdu Haftu was murdered in Mekelle

by unknown assailants. Her friend, Semhal Gebregziabiher, witnessed the attack and

was jailed for eight months without a case. Advocates demand justice for Zewdu andaccountability for the perpetrators, regardless of their affiliations. This incidentunderscores the urgent need for action and accountability from the Interim RegionalAdministration and international actors.

We call upon the Interim Administration of Tigray, the Ethiopian government, and theInternational Community to take the following immediate actions:

Justice and Accountability: Conduct thorough, transparent, and independentinvestigations into all allegations of abductions, gender-based violence, and murders.Ensure that perpetrators, regardless of their affiliation, are held accountable through fairand impartial judicial processes.

Security and Protection: Enhance security measures to protect vulnerable

populations, particularly women and children, from further violence. This includesdeploying peacekeeping forces, improving local policing, and establishing safe zonesfor those at risk.Support for Survivors: Provide comprehensive medical, psychological, and legal

support for survivors of these heinous crimes. This includes access to healthcareservices, trauma counseling, and legal aid to help them rebuild their lives and pursuejustice.

International Involvement: Request increased monitoring and reporting

human

rights violations in Tigray by the international community, including the United Nations,

African Union, and other human rights advocacy organizations, such as Amnesty

International and Human Rights Watch. Their involvement is crucial to ensuringadherence to international law.Reparations and Redress: Develop and implement a reparations program for

victims that acknowledges their suffering and provides tangible support for theirrecovery and reintegration into society.

We stand in solidarity with the survivors and all those affected by the ongoing violencein Tigray. Their voices and stories must be heard and addressed. Ensuring justice andprotection for these individuals is essential for fostering lasting peace in Tigray.

We trust that you will take these demands seriously and act with the urgency that thiscrisis requires. The undersigned civil society organizations are committed to supportingefforts to end gender-based violence and ensure justice for all victims.

Regards,

Gorzo – A Movement to Empower Women

Yikono – A movement to End Gender based Violence

Human Rights First

Tinsae Humanitarian Charity Organization (THCO)

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