Today: July 23, 2024

Daniel Bekele steps down from his position as chief commissioner of the Ethiopia Rights Commission

July 5, 2024

Daniel Bekele  has stepped down from his position as Chief Commissioner of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, according to state media reports. The Speaker of Parliament, Tagesse Chafo, has expressed his gratitude to Daniel Bekele (PhD), Chief Commissioner of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), citing the “fulfillment of his term.” Daniel assumed the role of Chief Commissioner on June 25, 2019, following his appointment by PM Abiy Ahmed. His appointment was subsequently endorsed by the House of People’s Representatives.

During his term, which spanned around five years, the Commission released numerous reports investigating human rights concerns in Ethiopia. One of the most recent releases during Daniel’s leadership was a 130-page National Inquiry report that revealed widespread rights abuses against incarcerated individuals in three regional states and the area previously referred to as the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) from 2018 to 2023. The report described these abuses as “systemic,” suggesting recurring patterns that impacted a substantial portion of the populace.

Daniel’s leadership of the Commission has sparked controversy, with the federal government criticizing the released report in November 2023 for not adequately addressing the current “context and reality”. This report highlighted numerous human rights abuses in the troubled Amhara region.

During a session in parliament on Thursday, Prime Minister Abiy addressed various human rights concerns, underscoring the tendency to exploit the concept of human rights for political purposes. He emphasized the necessity of upholding the impartiality of human rights institutions and ensuring they operate independently from government interference and external pressures.

Daniel, a legal professional and advocate for human rights, has held the position of Africa Director at Human Rights Watch (HRW). He obtained a PhD in international law from Oxford University, along with master’s degrees in international law and human rights from Oxford, and in social and environmental development from Addis Ababa University.

He was involved in civic organizations during Ethiopia’s 2005 contested elections, and his selection to the state’s human rights commission was seen as a positive move.

During Ethiopia’s 2005 contested elections, he was an active participant in civic organizations, and his nomination to the state’s human rights commission was considered a positive development.




  1. What a gallant peaceful fighter for human rights!!! Under the leadership of this fearless but principled countryman, the watchful council he was leading have ascertained itself to be fair and independent. I am sure now that tons of organizations outside the country will be competing to snatch him as their new employee.
    I am very proud of you, Obbo Dr, Daniel Bekele and wish you success and a rewarding career going forward.

  2. Five years ago Abiy is tire to fool the International community saying he formed free and independent Election Bord lead by Birtukan Mideksa and independent human right commission lead by Daniel Bekele now both have gone and the two commission are run by Abiy himself he will not get peace if there is any organization which he does not control.

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