The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission is investigating a video shared online that appears to show government troops abusing and shooting an ethnic Tigrayan boy.
The four-minute video shows an alleged ethnic Tigray teenager being surrounded by men in Ethiopian army uniforms. The forces are seen abusing the boy, who they refer to as being from Abbi Adi, a location in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia.
In response to a query from VOA, the state-run Human Rights Commission said it was “gathering information regarding the incident.”
In the video, the boy, with blood on his face, is seen sitting while the men in uniform surround him and threaten him with death. One of the men in uniforms calls for the boy to suffer rather than being killed immediately.
They tell a teenage girl to forcefully feed the boy. Finally, one man steps forward and shoots the boy, and the video ends.
VOA cannot independently verify the location of the incident or the identities of the individuals in the footage. Asked about the video, both the Ethiopian government communication minister and Ethiopian ministry of defense spokesperson declined to comment.
A similar incident was reported by rights groups in January 2021 in which Ethiopian army members were seen executing a number of civilians in Mahibere Dego, in central Tigray.
Rights group Amnesty International has verified the killing of 11 civilians in that incident.
Forces from the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front also have been accused of committing human rights violations. In February 2022, Amnesty International reported that TPLF forces and their affiliates have killed more than a dozen people and gang raped women in towns of the Amhara region they occupied.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission recently reported that more than 740 civilians were killed in the Tigray war between July 2021 and March 2022.
Both the government and the TPLF deny accusations of rights violations, saying their operations do not target civilians.