– Tigrayan’s business owners in the capital Addis Ababa informed Addis Standard that their business premises have been closed and are now facing serious challenges after reopening.
Hana (name changed due to from a witness’s request), Addis Standard said, “I own a small restaurant and it’s the main source of income,” she continued. “It was closed for months when I asked for explanations, none were offered. I was told I was violating Covid-19 prevention guidelines when I went to the administrative offices of Kebele and Woreda. They mostly ignored me and as them Having spoken to me, they asked me to wait patiently. ”She said that her store has only been open for 15 days.
She continued to explain the financial pressures she faced when her business was closed: “When my restaurant closed, I was struggling to pay the rent and the salaries of my 5 employees, and people would accuse me of supporting TPLF.”
She drove in tears continued: “I was born in Addis Ababa, grew up here, I visited Tigray twice when I was a. a child” and adds: “Let alone to support her [TPLF], I don’t have enough to get through.” She explained the effects de r Closure to their customers: “My customers are now afraid to come to my restaurant, and therefore I and my 5 employees are almost unemployed.”
Many witnesses Addis Standard had Fear that publishing their testimony could put them at risk as the authorities threatened them not to comment.
But not Caleb (name changed due to witness request), the Addis Standard announced that his bar closed three months ago. Nervous and afraid of being overheard by people in the area, he revealed that he and his brother had been detained for a week after his shop closed.
He said, “They took us to the The ID card will be released, but my bar will still be closed, ”he continued, explaining the circumstances that led to the opening of this little shop, which remains closed. “I opened the bar with credits and I pay those credits and rent every month. Mind you, I have no income, but I still have to pay off the rent and the loans. “
When asked about the complaints and promises of the authorities, he said:” There are now 17 different shops in my area that are closed. We are trying to find a solution together with the other owners. We tried to contact government officials directly related to our case but they refuse to answer us while others told us to be patient but I think they are forgetting about us. ”
Addis Standard contacted the Federal Police Commission, which directed the questions to both the Commercial and Industrial Office of Addis Ababa and the Police Commission, which, according to the spokesman for the Federal Police Commission, was responsible for the decision to close shops and to Execution of orders were responsible.
Repeated attempts to reach both the Trade and Industrial Office of Addis Ababa and the Police Commission were unsuccessful.
According to a September 2021 by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report, the number of complaints about the closure of businesses belonging to ethnic Tigrayans in Addis Ababa has increased in the past two months, according to the Commission n received.
The report revealed that a surveillance team concentrated its surveillance on two sub-towns of the capital, learned that alth Although these companies were suspended by order of the recently established Task Force to Prevent and Control Illicit Trafficking and Smuggling many companies remain closed due to the long waiting times for the authorities to issue a guilty or not guilty verdict to ensure faster investigation and decision-making processes.
Ethiopian authorities have arbitrarily arrested, violently disappeared and other attacks against. committed ethnic Tigrayans in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. Authorities should immediately answer for the disappearance of the Tigrayans, release those detained without credible evidence of crime, and end all discriminatory treatment.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) interviewed by phone between July and August eight current and former Tigrayan inmates, four Tigrayan business owners and 25 relatives of inmates, witnesses of abuse and lawyers. Human Rights Watch also checked court and police documents and relevant photos. HRW announced that it sent an email to Attorney General Gedion Timothewos on August 11, 2021, summarizing its findings and asking for more information, but received no response.