The State of Emergency inquiry Board has officially begun monitoring the operations of the command post in relation to human rights handling as of Thursday. This takes place week after the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) ratified the contentious state of emergency (SoE) decree at an extra-ordinary session.
Members of the Board include four MPs and three legal experts who were sworn in last week following the endorsement of the state of emergency and its subsequent formation of the Board.
The members include: Tadesse Hordoffa (chairperson of the board), Genet Tadesse (deputy chairperson), Nuria Abdurahman, Kimiya Junedin, Kamil Ahmed and Kifletsion Mammo.
The Board is tasked to supervise and monitor the human rights handling of security forces during the SoE period.
In the presence of other members of the Inquiry Board, the Chairperson Tadesse Hordoffa, called a press conference on Thursday, which was held at the Defense Hall of the HPR. He announced the commencement of the Board with exercising its mandate in accordance with the constitutional provision that set out the specific duties and responsibilities assigned to it.
The tasks of the Board include; making public within one month the names of all individuals arrested on account of the state of emergency together with the reasons for their arrest as well as monitoring any inhumane measures taken while the state of emergency is in effect.
Tadesse also urged the public to give tips whenever they think there is abuse of command force and security personnel while enforcing the decree. He also told the available telephone lines the public can use to tip the Board.
Most members of the Board served during the previous year’s ten-month state of emergency while two of them are newly elected.
It can be recalled that Defense Minister and Head of the Secretariat of the Command Post, Siraj Fegessa, announced the declaration of the SoE, a day after the Council of Ministers declared a state of emergency on February 15.
The decree was imposed barely a day after the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn. The outgoing PM also said his decision was to afford the ruling Ethiopia Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) space to further pursue promised political reforms.
The EPRDF is currently in the process of electing a new chairman.