At least 17 people have been killed in southern Ethiopia during protests that followed the weekend arrests of local officials, the dead include children.
Security forces met the protests with force after the arrests of Wolaita zone officials, the rights commission said.
It expressed “deep concern over persistent violence and use of excessive force” against protesters.
Local activists told The Associated Press they believed the death toll was even higher, with at least 34 people killed and more than 100 injured, almost all with gunshot wounds.
This is the latest unrest to challenge the political reforms of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as various communities seek greater autonomy in a country with more than 80 ethnic groups.