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Torture in Ethiopia is a systemic and widespread issue, despite the country being a State Party to the Convention against Torture since 1994. Numerous, ongoing and consistent allegations concerning the routine use of torture by the police, prison staff and military forces are frequently reported, in particular against political dissidents and opposition party members, students, alleged terrorism suspect or supporters of insurgent groups. This violence committed by security forces includes rape and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls. The repression is violent and the government completely fails in its duty to investigate cases and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes, who continue to act with complete impunity.The OMCT continues to report numerous cases of arbitrary arrests, illegal prolonged detention and unfair trails of journalists and other critics of the government and fights against the repression of the organisations that denounce human rights abuses in the country.
After ten dark years, a process of socio-political transformation, sparked by the resignation of former Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn in 2018, has opened the way to a process of reforms that has included the release of several human rights defenders and political prisoners, the signing of a peace agreement with Eritrea, and the appointment of the first woman President of Ethiopia and President of the Supreme Court. It has also seen a slow reopening of the operational space for civil society organisations in Ethiopia.