November 1, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) - An Ethiopian opposition party, Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) on Friday alleged that over 100 of its members and supporters have been subjected to various forms of abuse including unlawful killing.
“Ethiopian security forces have killed at least 7 of our supporters while 150 members and supporters of our party have illegally been detained, abducted and tortured during the past two years” UDJ party chairman, Negasso Gidada, told Sudan Tribune on Friday.
The former Ethiopia president said his party has prepared a report that details what he said were gross human right violations committed against members by police and security force across the nation.
He said the 39-page report will be presented to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to expose the abuses by government.
Gidada called on government to stop the “horrible rights violations” and cooperate in bringing those responsible to book.
The opposition official further said that dozens of members of the party are still receiving threats and intimidation from government agents.
Government officials were not immediately available for comment.
UDJ is one of the leading opposition groups in Ethiopia. It is the only opposition group that has a seat in Parliament. It occupies one seat in Ethiopia’s 547 seat parliament.
This year, the party has held a number of anti-government demonstrations calling for political reform.
On September 29, the group staged demonstrations calling for the release of detained opposition members, journalists and activists who remain in detention under the country’s unpopular anti-terrorism legislation
The protesters called for amendment to the controversial anti-terrorism legislation which many international human right organizations have criticised.
The opposition says the anti-terrorism law was designed to punish opposition members’ human rights activists, critical journalists and dissidents in general.
In its recent report, Reporters Without Borders said that Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law is a legal tool that is being used to gag dissidents.