Ethiopian parliament approves State of Emergency

parlamentOn 2 March, the House of People’s Representatives approved the State of Emergency declared by the Council of Ministers on February 16, 2018. The House approved the decree by a vote of 395 in favour to 88 against, with 7 abstentions.

The emergency rule was declared to protect the constitution and the constitutional order, ensure freedom of movement and rights of people to generate wealth by maintaining their unity and equality.

Incidents in violation of the constitution and the constitutional order or that could pose a threat to the country have been expanding in some parts of the country since recently.

People living in various parts asked the government to give them the necessary protection as a result of this violence and conflicts.

The emergency rule was declared as the threat posed to the country has reached the level where it could not be prevented and controlled by the regular law enforcement, according to the government.

The House also approved members of a State of Emergency Inquiry Board, chosen and assigned by the House from among its members and from legal experts.

The State of Emergency Inquiry Board shall have the following powers and responsibilities:

  • to make public within one month the names of all individuals arrested on account of the state of emergency together with the reasons for their arrest.
  • to inspect and follow up that no measure taken during the state of emergency is inhumane.
  • to recommend to the Prime Minister or the Council of Minister’s corrective measures if it finds cases of inhumane treatment.
  • to ensure the prosecution of perpetrators of inhumane acts.
  • to submit its views to the House of Peoples’ Representatives on a request to extend the duration of the state of emergency.