Amnesty International: gross sexual abuse in Tigray “tolerated at the highest level of government in Ethiopia and Eritrea”

Anyone who has been following the war in Tigray will be aware of the rape and sexual abuse carried out by Ethiopian and Eritrean troops, as well as Amhara militia. But to see it catalogued in one report – as Amnesty International has done  – is truly shocking for even the most hardened observer.

See the full report here: Amnesty International Sexual Abuse report

At the heart of the report is a single chilling allegation. It is that what took place was not the work of one rogue army unit, or a brutal, out of control group of soldiers. It was – says Amnesty International – a policy.

“The patterns of sexual violence emerging from survivors’ accounts indicate that violations have been part of a strategy to terrorize, degrade, and humiliate both the victims and their ethnic group. The fact that such practices have been widespread and continuous indicates that this strategy has been tolerated at the highest level of government in both Ethiopia and Eritrea.

If nothing else from the report remains, this accusation should not be forgotten. It should lead to criminal sanctions against Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and those around them. The international community should investigating the atrocities and lay the charges.

The abuses were summed up in testimony after testimony.

Consider just three.

  • “There was an eight month pregnant lady with us, they raped her too. I have no words to tell you. They gathered like a hyena that saw something to eat. The pregnant woman gave birth after they raped her, and the baby was stillborn.”
  • A doctor from Adigrat: “The girl from Edaga Hamus was taken from the public minibus on 6 February 2021. They let her to on 15 February and she arrived during the night and came to us the next day. We took two nails…tissue paper, gravel, and a piece of plastic packaging measuring 9 cm by 8 cm from her vagina.”
  • “Most of them rapded me. I lost count of how many raped me. They raped me all day and throughout the night and kept me for three days and continued to rape me all the time. They said if you were male we would kill you, but girls can make Amhara babies.”

Many were raped in front of their families. If anyone protested, they were shot. Some were raped in front of their own children.

I have watched some film of what was taken from the vaginas of these women. I have seen a great deal of horrific images in my time as a journalist, but this was unbearable.

Amnesty International says that Prime Minister Abiy did eventually acknowledge the allegations of widespread sexual abuse and promised that the perpetrators would be punished. But – says the report – “the government failed to take concrete measures to stop and prevent such crimes – which continued unabated…Nine months on from the onset of the conflict, the Ethiopian authorities have not so far provided any details of the measures they claim to have taken to investigate incidents of conflict-related sexual violence and to bring those responsible to justice. At the time of writing, the only information made public about concrete steps taken is the announcement by the Attorney General’s office on 21 May 2021 that three Ethiopian soldiers were convicted of reape and 25 others indicted and are being tried for rape and other acts of sexual violence.”

These crimes cannot be allowed to go unpunished.








  1. As a human being, it’s difficult to read the article about horrible sexual violations with out crying/weeping. All of the rapists were inhumane & worse than the Devil. The gov’t that allowed such heinous crimes won’t carry out an investigation & bring perpetrators to justice. IC, Tegarus, Oromos, & all other nations, nationalities, peoples in Ethiopia with exception of the artificial Amhara ethnic group should bring the criminals to justice.

  2. I could get surprised if I see you were able to write something different/better than this as you are a long time paid TPLFterroristgroup Lobbyist. What always surprises me of you is the way you are pretending as if you were journals and a human rights activist

    1. The funny thing is you called us brother but you don’t feel our pain! What a shame ? Good luck on your own future country. It’s enough for us. Tigray is prevailing

    2. there are more than enough evidence of this actions, perpetrated in the name of Ethiopian government, that it was deliberate and widespread. Those evidences come from multiple sources, documented by specialist, videos, medical reports and testimonies of witnesses. It cannot be dismissed as antigovernment propaganda. Question is, do you support that? Do you support that in the name of Ethiopias unity and to pay the sins of TLDF women in Tigray deserve to be mass raped and widowed, life traumatised and maybe forced to die of hunger? Dont be a coward and answer. I’m not a biased person, I’m not involved in this conflict, but I have heart and I have a mind.

    3. So, now you Neftegnas are claiming Amnesty Intern. is a “a long time paid TPLF terrorist group” supporter? You guys praised Amnesty as a legit/credible organization when they (falsely) blamed TPLF for the Mai Cadre massacre. So, obviously, you Neftegnas, just like Trump in the US, just condemn anything that does not support your dictatorship/evil agenda.

  3. The report makes me hate my self
    This is very unhuman. I am a woman and this is very horrible. These women should get justice they gave them a life time trauma and pain

    1. Many thanks for your comment. It is from your heart. It shows you have a heart for others unlike those who try to justify the unjustifiable. It’s unfortunate for Ethiopia to be led by those who declared civil wars upon their own citizens, commit extremely severe sexual violence & even try to make fun of it, saying, “Our soldiers were violated by swords while the women were by men.”

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