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Ethiopia: Arrest and detention of Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) members
Front Line is concerned following reports of the arrest and detention of Tesfa Burayu, Ibsa Wake and Fekadu Negeri, members of the executive committee of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO), along with twelve other individuals, on 23 August 2007 in Nekemte town, Eastern Wellega Zone in the Oromia Region.
On 23 August 2007, Tesfa Burayu, Ibsa Wake and Fekadu Negeri were arrested at their homes in Nekemte town, along with twelve other individuals. According to reports, the officers carried out searches of their houses stating that they were suspected of hiding arms and papers inciting violence. Although no items were found, they were taken away and detained at Nekemte town police station. They have not been presented before a court of law and no official charges have been brought against them. However reports claim that a court hearing has been scheduled for 3 September 2007.
Front Line is concerned that the afore-mentioned events are directly related to the legitimate and peaceful work of the EHRCO in defence of human rights in Ethiopia. Further concern is expressed that it may form part of an ongoing campaign against human rights defenders in the country.