Amnesty should issue retraction for false Axum allegation


The Government of Ethiopia should request Amnesty International (AI) to explain its baseless allegation about Axum ‘massacre’ and fabrication of events thereby retracting the fake report and asking for an apology, a renowned scholar said. AI Crisis Reponses Director Joanne Marnier recently admitted in her twitter post that the first ‘evidence’ the organization has used to issue a report about Axum ‘massacre’ was incorrect both ‘as to the date’ and ‘as to the circumstances.’

The organization cited Martin Plaut, a TPLF Junta ardent supporter, account that Ethiopian federal troops and Amhara militia opened a fire on crowd sheltered in St. Mary Zion Church in Axum town of Tigray State and killed 750 people on Tuesday 15 December 2020.

Speaking to local media, Sociology Assistant Professor at New York’s Iona University, Derese Getachew (Ph.D.) said that Amnesty’s confession about the inaccuracy of the date and circumstance of Axum ‘massacre’ is ‘embarrassing’.

Prior to making such big allegation against the government of Ethiopia and putting their judgment without investigation, Amnesty had to collect solid evidences to confirm when, where and by whom the so-called massacre was committed, the scholar elaborated.

“How could we believe what the AI is talking about whilst they are confessing the time and circumstance of their report was untrue?” he said, adding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should demand the organization to withdraw the fake report and request the people and government of Ethiopia an apology.

Meanwhile, Marnier’s post confirmed that Amnesty composed its ‘report’ on the Axum ‘massacre’ and blamed federal and regional troops as perpetuators of grave crime without conducting investigation of facts and relying on deceptive narratives.

According to some sources closer to the organization, Amnesty has not provided a single photo, video, text or satellite images to prove the allegation on the Ethiopian government and its account about the incident is also a ‘lame.’

By the same token, the organization issued another false and contrasting report that claimed Axum ‘massacre’ was occurred on late November 2020 whilst residents of the town marked the annual St. Mary of Zion fest. On the contrary, Axum residents, while taking part in the fest, confirmed Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) and other television stations that they peacefully observed the celebration. If the Amnesty’s allegation was true, that kind of festivity and normalcy could not have happened in a ‘massacre day.’

The aforementioned sources claimed that the report aims to capitalize on the deeply religious significance of Axum Zion to instigate public’s susception and hatred against federal troops and the government of Ethiopia at large.

Furthermore, Amnesty’s account about the absence of TPLF forces in Axum and the end of resistance in late November 2020 was also confirmed untrue. Leader of the now defunct faction Debretsion Gebremichael said “TPLF forces retook the town of Axum from federal forces after a fight” and the news was also transmitted by some international news media companies.

AI’s use of various fake reports and the deceptive tactic it has used to come up with big accusation on the Ethiopian government will put the impartiality and objectivity of the organization in a serious doubt, the sources remarked.

The Ethiopian Herald

I AM PROUD TO BE ETHIOPIAN ! ኢትዮጵያዊ በመሆኔ እኮራለሁ !Human Rights Activist and Mereja Media Online Journalist and Blogger.