Monthly Archives: July 2015

UPDATE: DESPITE CLAIMS OROMO STUDENT PROTESTORS STILL IN JAIL

The news item published on Advocacy for Oromia on July 9th saying “At least six Oromo university students were also among three journalists and two bloggers released from Ethiopian prison yesterday, according to various reports,” was incorrect as five of the six  students mentioned in the story are still in Qilinto, a prison in the outskirts of the city Finfinnee.   

It was reported in the news that  the freed Oromo university students include “Adugna Kesso, Bilisumma Dammana, Lenjisa Alemayo, Abdi Kamal, Magarsa Warqu, and Tofik Rashid.”  However, only the last,  Tofik Rashid, was released and the rest are still in Qilinto.

All were students who were arrested by security agents from various universities located in the Oromiya regional states. No charges were brought against many of them in the last year and three months.
The arrest of unknown numbers of Oromo University students followed a May 2014 brutal crackdown by the police against university students who protested when a master plan for the expansion of Addis Abeba, the city originally home to the Oromo, was introduced by the federal government.

The 10th Addis Abeba and Oromia Special Zone Integrated Development Master plan, which was in the making for two years before its introduction to the public, finally came off as ‘Addis Abeba and the Surrounding Oromia Special Zone Integrated Development Plan.

The government claims the master plan, which will annex localities surrounding Addis Abeba but are under the Oromiya regional state, was aimed at “developing an internationally competitive urban region through an efficient and sustainable spatial organization that enhances and takes advantage of complementarities is the major theme for the preparation of the new plan.”
The students protested against the plan and the federal government’s meddling in the affairs of the Oromiya regional state, which many legal experts also say was against Article 49(5) of the Ethiopian Constitution that clearly states “the special interest of the State of Oromia in Finfinnee.”

Charges against university student Nimona Chali were dropped without explanation and he was released some two months ago. 

Two months ago, student Nimona Chali, one of the detained students, was released from jail without charges. Student Aslan Hassen died in prison in what the government claimed was a suicide. However, many believe he was tortured to death. No independent enquiry was launched to investigate his death.

Alsan Hassan died while in police custody. Government says it was a sucide, but many say he died of torture. 
By the government’s own account, eleven people were killed during university student demonstrations in many parts of the Oromia regional state. However, several other accounts put the number as high as above 50.

Bilisumma Dammana     Alsan Hassan   Tofik

 Bilisumma Dammana            Alsan Hassan                         Tofik Rashid

A4O’s Note: We would like to apologize for any inconvenience the original story might have caused our readers and the families of the students who are still incarcerated

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South Dakota Oromo Culture Performance

Temam Ababulgun’s license is susbended

(Advocacy4oromia, 10 July 2015) Ministry of Justice has suspended Temam Ababulgun’s license to practice law, citing ethical grounds.

Temam Ababulgu

Temam Ababulgu

A statement from the Ministry indicated that a disciplinary committee of federal lawyers and prosecutors has been investigating allegations of ethical misconduct by the lawyer in question.

Based on the findings of the committee, the Ministry exercised Proclamation 192/92’s Article 24 (2 & 3) to suspend the lawyer from practicing law for a year and seven months.

However, many suspect that Temam Ababbulgu’s license is suspended for political reasons.

In a country where most lawyers serve the regime as puppet judges and prosecutors and those in private practice avoid taking ‘political’ cases, Tamam was one of the very few who braved to stand out defending political prisoners.

Consequently he has been subject of constant threat, harassment and even physical assault.

When such attack failed to scare him into leaving the country or stop defending political prisoners, the regime is forced act openly and officially suspending his license.

 

IOYA is accepting applications and letter of interest for upcoming elections

 

IOYA Logo

July 09, 2015

The International Oromo Youth Association (IOYA) is seeking candidates for the 2015-2016 year Executive Board. Established in 2006, the International Oromo Youth Association (IOYA) is a transnational leadership and networking platform for youth. We strive to create a strong and active network of empowered and well-connected Oromo leaders.

We are committed to bringing a meaningful change to our society by strengthening unity among the youth, developing and supporting their leadership capacities and mobilizing resources for the advancement of our communities through programs such as the annual Oromo Youth Leadership Conference, cross generational dialogue and networking. IOYA provides leadership training and space to address issues pertaining to Oromo communities on a international scale.

If you believe you are a capable, determined and passionate leader, IOYA is looking for you. Our previous executive board members have served the organization on a superb level, we are looking for a team that will do even more in ensuring IOYA’s success on a global level. Vacant positions include President, Vice President, Secretary, treasurer and Public Relations. We are seeking candidates based in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Please send your resume and statement of interest to ioyaelections@gmail.com.We ask that you please submit by the deadline, August 1, 2015. We look forward to hear from prospective leaders.

 

Sincerely,

IOYA Board

OROMO STUDENT PROTESTORS RELEASED FROM JAIL

(Advocacy4oromia, 9 July 2015) At least six Oromo university students were also among three journalists and two bloggers released from Ethiopian prison yesterday, according to various reports.

Adugna Kesso

Adugna Kesso

The freed Oromo university students include Adugna Kesso, Bilisumma Dammana, Lenjisa Alemayo, Abdi Kamal, Magarsa Warqu, and Tofik. All were students who were arrested by security agents from various universities located in the Oromiya regional states. No charges were brought against many of them in the last year and three months.

The arrest of unknown numbers of Oromo University students followed a May 2014 brutal crackdown by the police against university students who protested when a master plan for the expansion of Addis Abeba, the city originally home to the Oromo, was introduced by the federal government.

The 10th Addis Abeba and Oromia Special Zone Integrated Development Master plan, which was in the making for two years before its introduction to the public, finally came off as ‘Addis Abeba and the Surrounding Oromia Special Zone Integrated Development Plan.

The government claims the master plan, which will annex localities surrounding Addis Abeba but are under the Oromiya regional state, was aimed at “developing an internationally competitive urban region through an efficient and sustainable spatial organization that enhances and takes advantage of complementarities is the major theme for the preparation of the new plan.”

The students protested against the plan and the federal government’s meddling in the affairs of the Oromiya regional state, which many legal experts also say was against Article 49(5) of the Ethiopian Constitution that clearly states “the special interest of the State of Oromia in Addis Abeba.”

asilaa-huseen

Aslan Hassen

Two months ago, student Nimona Chali, one of the detained students, was released from jail without charges. Abebe Urgessa of Haromaya University is still in Qaallitti prison.

Student Aslan Hassen died in prison in what the government claimed was a suicide.

However, many believe he was tortured to death. No independent enquiry was launched to investigate his death.

By the government’s own account, eleven people were killed during university student demonstrations in many parts of the Oromia regional state. However, several other accounts put the number as high as above 50.

Source: http://addisstandard.com/oromo-student-protestors-released-from-jail/

About Abebe Urgessa

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Abebe Urgessa

Abebe Urgessa was a second year student, Water Engineering Major, at Haramaya University. After classes were interrupted following the ‪#‎OromoProtests‬ movement that swept the whole nation in April 2014, Abebe like many other students went to visit his family till the classes resume.

He was arrested upon arrival at a small town called Teji, in South west Shawa, where his families are living. After detention incommunicado for three weeks, he was falsely accused of standing in a market place telling people not to pay taxes to the government. Though the court released him on bail on the 21st of May, 2014, student Abebe was abducted again just a week later on the 29th of May.

While his where about still remains a mystery to this very date, it’s known that the government accused him, on its media outlets, of detonating hand grenade at the Haramaya University facility.

Abebe’s story designates with many other innocent Oromo students unlawfully abducted and falsely accused with bogus charges while being taken to or kept at undisclosed detention centers under severe tortures, more often than not. His story is just one among the many.

We wish the planned visit will not send the wrong message

6 July 2015

Press Release

Re: We wish the planned visit will not send the wrong message to the dictators

a4oAdvocacy for Oromia, a non-profit organization incorporated in Australia, to advocate for human rights and for social justice, would like to address the planned visit of US President Barack Obama to Ethiopia in July 2015. We respect the policy of the United States whose foreign policy in principle is committed to promoting the ideals of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy. However, we strongly entreaty to the USA to cautiously assess that such visit will not send the wrong message to the dictators as we are extremely concerned about the human rights abuses in Oromia.

For over six thousand years, the Oromo people maintained a unique national identity distinct from the national identity of Abyssinia. In 1900, the Abyssinian rulers invaded the land of Oromo people and embarked on a policy of occupation and oppression that seriously threatens the continued survival of the unique cultural and religious identity of the Oromo people. Tragically, a world that condemns colonialism has largely ignored Abyssinia’s occupation of Oromo land. The human cost to the Oromo people has been of tragic proportions. Hundreds of thousands of Oromo’s were killed outright or died as the result of aggression, torture or starvation. Over 8,000 sacred places and centre of Gadaa were destroyed.

Full Press Release https://advocacy4oromia.org/action/we-wish-the-planned-visit-will-not-send-the-wrong-message/

Obama’s Planned Visit to Ethiopia is Incompatible with Claims of Democratic Principles of the US Government

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(Statement from Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) , July 4, 2015) The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) strongly opposes the planned visit to Ethiopia of the US President Barack Obama on the end of July 2015.

As Ethiopia is one of the most brutal regimes of the world, OLF believes that such a visit will result in strengthening the dictatorial minority regime, will boost the regime’s confidence to strengthen its ruthless human rights violations, will give a green light to the regime to continue its repression, economic exploitation, and marginalization of various nations and nationalities of the country under its usual pretense of democracy.

OLF also believes that a lasting national and security interest of the US is better protected not by blessing and supporting such a well-known ruthless regime, but by being on the side of the people, supporting the struggle of the peoples of the country for freedom, democracy, and justice by using its leverage through exerting the necessary pressure on the regime on power.

For full Statment: OLF_Statement_on_Obma_visit