Open Letter to Mrs. Mitchel Bachlet, Commissioner of the UNHRC.
Subject: UNHRC’s acceptance of Ethiopia’s proposal for a joint investigation of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Tigray.
The Ethiopian government started the war and allowed the other actors to join hands and do all the horrible crimes together. Thus, we believe the Ethiopian government is the main culprit of all the crimes in Tigray. This government has been refusing to provide access to a full, independent and international investigation despite repeated calls by the international community. As a suspect in the crimes, the Ethiopian government is not supposed to select investigators of the crimes. Thus, the invitation of the UNHRC by the Ethiopian government to investigate the crimes in collaboration with the EHRC; while closing doors to independent international investigators cannot be taken as a genuine initiative.
A lot of media spinning of the May-Kadra incident was carried out in which, the EHRC itself joined in, paining Tigrayans as killers of the Amhara in that town. Staff of the EHRC, including the commissioner, appeared on TV documentaries criminalizing Tigrayans. Although the genocide and ethnic cleansing was preplanned, we believe, the media campaign on the Mai-Kadra massacre greatly contributed to what happened later in Tigray. Thus, we strongly believe that the EHRC has played a role in the crimes that happened in Tigray and the EHRC itself should be a target of a thorough and genuine investigation of the crimes.
We also have disturbing reports that evidences on the crime scene such as houses, bodies and victim’s belongings have been burnt with the intention of destroying evidence after the EHRC ‘investigation’ of May-Kadra. The EHRC neither protected the evidences nor reported that they are being destroyed. We, therefore, suspect that the EHRC wanted evidences to be destroyed so that the truth can be hidden and criminalizing the victims shall stand still. Thus, as the Tigrayan saying goes “You cannot look for your lost ox together with the thief who stole it and expect to find it”, we cannot expect a genuine investigation can be carried out by the UNHRC working together with the EHRC.
Your Excellency, Mrs. Michel Bachlet, we would like to express to you that we strongly demand there should be a full, independent and international investigation in to all the horrible crimes committed in Tigray. We also would like to express to you that we regard the UNHRC in high esteem and have a high hope on investigations that will be carried out by the UNHRC. Thus, we would like to ask this respected organization to distance itself from a joint investigation with the EHRC and continue to insist for a full, independent and international investigation of the crimes committed in Tigray.