The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission is deeply alarmed by the loss of life amid protests in Oromia, and calls on authorities to prevent security forces from using excessive force.

Several sources have confirmed killings in unrest spanning various places in the region, including Asasa, Asebot, Awoday, Bale Robe, Chiro, Dengego, Dire Teyara, Dodola, Gelemso, Ginir, Haromaya, Hirna, and Shashemene. 

The deaths followed calls for protests to demonstrate against the continued detention of Oromo opposition politicians. 

“Authorities should ensure that the right to peaceful protest can be exercised, and law enforcement measures against anything beyond that does not exceed proportion,” said Aaron Maasho, Senior Advisor and Spokesperson at EHRC.

“Oromia is still reeling from the grim weight of tragic killings this year. These grave patterns of abuse should never be allowed to continue.”

Social media posts and some news reports have given varying death tolls. EHRC is gathering information from residents, witnesses, hospitals, and local administrations to corroborate the claims.

EHRC calls on authorities at both federal and regional level to launch an immediate inquiry.