Felix Horne, Human Rights Watch

Felix Horne

Human Rights Watch

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Past articles by Felix:

Time to Tackle Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Toxic Air

Air pollution in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s cities remains some of the worst in the world. → Read More

China’s Coal Announcement Potential Climate Game-Changer

Chinese President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that the Chinese government would “not build new coal-fired power projects abroad” and would instead “step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy.” If implemented, this could mark the beginning of a shift by China to support clean energy and end coal plant construction in… → Read More

How Biden can help Canada do better on climate

Domestic political considerations provide little incentive for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to address the climate crisis head-on. → Read More

Landmark Decision in Kenya Lead Pollution Case

This case is a hard-fought and well-deserved victory for workers and the 3,000 residents of Owino Uhuru who continued to seek justice for harm to their health. → Read More

Can Covid-19 Help Ease the Climate Crisis?

It’s been three months since governments around the world implemented lockdowns in response to Covid-19. → Read More

Interview: Inside What Was Ethiopia’s Jail Ogaden

Until recently, Jail Ogaden in Ethiopia’s eastern Somali Region housed thousands of prisoners, many of them illegally arrested government critics and opposition figures who had been detained for years. Now the notorious jail has been shut down. Senior researcher Felix Horne tells us about his recent visit to Ethiopia and the now-empty prison, and the Somali region’s path towards healing. → Read More

One Year After Peace Deal, Little Has Changed in Eritrea

Today marks one year since the historic peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which ended 20 years of intermittent conflict between the two countries. Many had hoped the peace deal would usher in a new era of respect for human rights. Yet one year on, little has changed. → Read More

Interview: Ethiopia Lets in Human Rights Watch for First Time in 8 Years

After more than two years of protests, power changed hands in Ethiopia last April. Under the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia is shedding its reputation as a country that tortures detainees and spies on its citizens. Senior Researcher Felix Horne talks with Amy Braunschweiger about these exciting steps forward, as well as his concerns about rising tensions among ethnic → Read More

Ethiopia’s Torture Problem and the Court of Public Opinion

Ethiopia’s state broadcaster EBC aired a documentary this week, detailing numerous horrendous acts of torture carried out by security services in recent years. Many Ethiopians were shocked and outraged. → Read More

Somali Journalist Critically Hurt in Car Bombing

On Tuesday evening, veteran Somali journalist and media rights activist Ismail Sheikh Khalifa was critically wounded when a bomb planted in his car exploded in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. → Read More

Tackling Hate Speech in Ethiopia

Hate and dangerous speech is a serious and growing problem in Ethiopia, both online and offline. → Read More

Making Ethiopia’s Electoral Board Independent

There was good news from Ethiopia as former opposition leader, lawyer and judge Birtukan Midekssa was named head of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE). Following years of almost completely closed political space, Ethiopia’s government continues to institute an important series of reforms. The appointment of a highly respected – and crucially, independent – new → Read More

UN Security Council Lifts Arms Embargo on Eritrea

The United Nations Security Council today voted to lift a nearly decade-old arms embargo imposed on Eritrea, removing one of the government’s favorite excuses for denying its citizens basic rights. → Read More

Mass Arrests, ‘Brainwashing’ Threaten Ethiopia’s Reform Agenda

This week, the Ethiopian government released over 1,000 youth from “rehabilitation camps” following a month-long detention. These camps have no legal basis, and their recent use signals a worrying return to a period when the security forces frequently carried out arbitrary arrests. → Read More

Ethiopia Torture Victims Deserve Justice

Last week Human Rights Watch released “We are Like the Dead,” a report documenting torture, rape, and other serious human rights abuses in Ethiopia’s notorious Jail Ogaden in the Somali Region. Among the officials most responsible for those abuses is Somali Region President Abdi Mohamoud Omar, commonly known as “Abdi Illey.” → Read More

US House Resolution on Ethiopia Passes

Today, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution encouraging Ethiopia’s government to increase respect for human rights, rule of law, and democracy. This non-binding resolution, combined with recent statements from the US Embassy in Addis, sends a strong signal to Ethiopia’s new prime minister that the US expects significant reforms ahead. → Read More

Does Ethiopia’s New State of Emergency Dash Hopes for Reform?

On February 17, Ethiopia’s Defense Minister Siraj Fergessa declared a six-month state of emergency, appearing to end, for the time being, hope the government would undertake further reforms to open up political space. → Read More

Ethiopia Pardons More Journalists, Politicians

Ethiopia’s state-run media yesterday reported that 746 prisoners would be pardoned, including renowned journalist Eskinder Nega, opposition politician Andualem Arage, and many other political prisoners. → Read More

Ethiopia to Free Political Prisoners, Close Prison

Today, Ethiopia’s ruling coalition announced it would release political prisoners and close the infamous Maekelawi detention center in the capital, Addis Ababa. While the government did not say how and when this would occur, doing so would be an important step toward ending longstanding political repression and human rights abuse in the country. → Read More

A Rare Victory for Ethiopia’s Victims

The many victims of the brutal communist military dictatorship that ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991, known as the Derg, had a rare victory this week. On December 15, former Ethiopian government official Eshetu Alemu was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to life in prison by a Dutch court for his role in ordering the executions of 75 people, including children under 18, in the 1970s. → Read More