Amnesty International on Friday urged the Ethiopian authorities to end arbitrary detention of Tigrayans.

In a statement, the global human rights watchdog said: “The arrests appear to be ethnically motivated, with former detainees, witnesses and lawyers describing how police checked identity documents before arresting people and taking them to detention centers.”

“Following the withdrawal of the Ethiopian National Defense Force from parts of Tigray and the announcement of a unilateral cease-fire by the federal government on June 28, for the last two weeks Tigrayans in Addis Ababa have been arbitrarily arrested and detained. Former detainees told us that police stations are filled with people speaking Tigrinya, and that authorities had conducted sweeping mass arrests of Tigrayans,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s director for East and Southern Africa.

Amnesty called on the Ethiopian government to “end this wave of arbitrary arrests, and to ensure that all detainees are either promptly charged with internationally recognized crimes and given fair trials, or immediately and unconditionally released.”

“The government should also inform families of the whereabouts of the detained and ensure that they have access to lawyers and families,” it added.

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