During the security crisis that followed musician Hachalu Hundessa’s assassination on June 29th, 2020, people died in gruesome killings, others suffered physical and mental injuries, property destruction as well as displacement and harassment.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigated human rights violations across the region during the three days of unrest that ensued. This report presents the findings thereof. In the 40 localities where the EHRC investigation was carried out, the security crisis that lasted from June 29th to July 2nd, 2020, led to the death of 123 people, physical injuries of at least 500 people, the displacement of thousands, and looting and destruction of private and public property. 35 of the 123 victims who lost their lives and 306 of those injured were killed or injured by individuals and groups participating in the unrest while at least 76 deaths and 190 bodily injuries were caused by government security forces. 12 people died as a result of a bomb explosion, fire or similar disasters during the security crisis.
During these widespread attacks, a large number of people, moving in groups and armed with knives, stones, flammables, electric cables, sticks, axes and machetes; beat, injured and killed people in a gruesome manner, including through torture and beheading. The attackers committed these killings by breaking into or forcing people out of their houses, before dragging or throwing bodies along streets. People were subsequently prevented from recovering the bodies of their loved ones.
The gravity of some of the injuries was such that victims were still hospitalized and agonizing long after the events. Many of those who survived such grave injuries say they were still alive because even their attackers left them for dead. In addition to the beatings, killings and property destruction, the attackers used ethnic slurs, humiliated and threatened their victims. The trauma has left victims feeling vulnerable targets to further ethnic or religious attacks. In addition to the loss of human life and property, 6468 people have been displaced from their homes after losing their house and property to the attacks or in fear of their lives, and at the time of the investigation, still lived in temporary shelters in churches and makeshifts set up by local authorities. Large scale property destruction has occurred; at least 900 properties have been burned, looted or vandalized, including houses, commercial properties and vehicles.