Files submitted to the Hague by Peace Prize nominee claim Ghebreyesus is guilty of genocide.
An American economist nominated for the Nobel peace prize has called for the head of the World Health Organisation to be prosecuted for genocide over his alleged involvement in directing Ethiopia’s security forces.
David Steinman accused Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, 55, who took over at the WHO three years ago, of being one of three officials in control of the Ethiopian security services from 2013 to 2015. Dr Tedros was the country’s health minister from 2005 to 2012 and its foreign minister until 2016, when his Tigray People’s Liberation Front party was the main member of the ruling coalition.
Mr Steinman, an economist and campaigner nominated for the peace prize last year, lodged the complaint at the International Criminal Court in The Hague directly accusing the director-general of the World Health Organisation of aiding genocide in Ethiopia. Steinman accused WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, 55, of being a 'crucial decision maker' who directed Ethiopia's security forces actions from 2013 to 2015. He has accused Tedros of being one of three officials who were in charge of the security services over that period, during which the 'killing' and 'torturing' of Ethiopians took place. Tedros was the country's foreign minister until 2016 when his Tigray People's Liberation Front party was in power.
Raised in Tigray , Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also served as Ethiopia's health minister from 2005 to 2012 before being elected World Health Organisation director-general in 2017, the first African to take the role. Mr Steinman, who was nominated for the 2019 Nobel peace prize, lodged the complaint calling for Tedros to be prosecuted for genocide at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, saying he is 'one of the world's most dangerous men.'
According to The Times he claimed that Tedros "was a crucial decision maker in relation to security service actions that included killing, arbitrarily detaining and torturing Ethiopians,"
Mr Steinman also alleges that the WHO chief oversaw the 'killing, and causing serious bodily and mental harm to, members of the Amhara, Konso, Oromo and Somali tribes with intent to destroy those tribes in whole or in part'.
He claimed that while Tedros 'co-led' Ethiopia's government for four years, the regime 'was marked by widespread or systematic crimes against humanity by subordinates'.
Mr Steinman was a foreign adviser to Ethiopia's democracy movement for 27 years until its 2018 victory and has firsthand knowledge of the crimes of the WHO president. Large-scale and unprecedented protests swept through Ethiopia’s largest region of Oromia beginning in November 2015, and in the Amhara region from July 2016. Ethiopia's security forces 'cracked-down' on these largely peaceful demonstrations, killing more than 500 people, according to Human Rights Watch. The complaint comes after Ethiopia's army chief Berhanu Jula claimed that Tedros was backing dissident forces in his war-torn home region of Tigray.
Steinman has evidence that Tedros wasn't just aware of the genocide, but was actively orchestrating it. In the files submitted to the Hague, Mr Steinman referenced a 2016 US government report on human rights in Ethiopia that found the 'civilian authorities at times did not maintain control over the security forces, and local police in rural areas and local militias sometimes acted independently'. Mr Steinman, a former consulting expert to the US National Security Council, accuses Tedros of being involved in the 'intimidation of opposition candidates and supporters' which included 'arbitrary arrest... and lengthy pre-trial detention'.
Tedros has denied the allegations and any wrongdoing. 'There have been reports suggesting I am taking sides in this situation,” he said in a statement last month about the current situation in Tigray. 'This is not true and I want to say that I am on only one side and that is the side of peace.'
This comes after Tedros, the current head of the World Health Organisation, has been accused of collaborating with the Chinese to cover up the Wuhan lab leak. If the Hague issue an arrest warrant for him, commentators suggest that he will be given asylum by the Chinese government as a reward for carrying out their orders so well.