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Responding to reports of continuing detentions and remand just a few hours before the 48 hours legal limit after the lifting of the state of emergency, EHRC Chief Commissioner Dr. Daniel Bekele said, “The release of several detainees since yesterday was a step in the right direction but we remain concerned about unlawful detentions after the lifting of the State of Emergency and the unfair use of remand procedure for an extended detention. If government authorities have any credible case against State of Emergency detainees, the cases should have already been brought to a court of law.”

Citing the example of the case against Journalist Tamerat Negera, the Chief Commissioner said, “Even if there was a legal basis for journalist Tamerat’s detention, the circumstances of his continued detention with a remand order just an hour before the 48 hours legal limit, symbolizes an abuse of power and naked travesty of justice.” 

Recalling that Tamerat Negera has been in detention for 70 days as of February 17, 2022, The Chief Commissioner added, “there is no reasonable ground for a remand and no alleged journalistic offence should lead to any form of pre-trial detention, let alone such an extended detention. The authorities should release him and all others arbitrarily detained, immediately and without precondition.”