Monthly Archives: June 2016
Ethiopian security forces have killed more than 400 protesters and others, and arrested tens of thousands more during widespread protests in the Oromia region since November 2015. The Ethiopian government should urgently support a credible, independent investigation into the killings, arbitrary arrests, and other abuses.The 61-page report. “‘Such a Brutal Crackdown’: Killings and Arrests in Response to Ethiopia’s Oromo Protests,” details the Ethiopian government’s use of excessive and unnecessary lethal force and mass arrests, mistreatment in detention, and restrictions on access to information to quash the protest movement. Human Rights Watch interviews in Ethiopia and abroad with more than 125 protesters, bystanders, and victims of abuse documented serious violations of the rights to free expression and peaceful assembly by security forces against protesters and others from the beginning of the protests in November 2015 through May 2016.
The subject can be discussed, but from a Marxist independence movement, the government is wary of the influence of the western world. The result is that the economy is weak and the country is poor. However, the government takes care of the needy, no one dies from hunger in Eritrea. The state organizes free distribution of basic commodities. School and university are free and as well as access to the health system.
A 27-year-old mother of one from the nearby capital, Addis Ababa, Yimam has spent the past six years toiling for Ayka-Addis, a Turkish-owned textile and garment factory and the largest firm in Ethiopia’s emerging apparel industry. Six days a week, for 1,500 birr ($68) a month after taxes, she rises early for her eight-hour shift, dons her spotted blue and white Ayka uniform, and spends her day churning out cotton for t-shirts, pajamas and bed sheets bound for Europe. As a relatively senior employee, she’s better paid than many of Ayka’s 6,000 Ethiopian staff. With her 10th-grade education, she admits it would be hard to find better. Yet Yimam and her husband still struggle. “There aren’t many companies that pay more than Ayka,” she says over the whirl of more than 200 knitting machines. “But it’s still barely enough.
BY *Baaroo Keno Deressa (Dr)
The Oromo people are survived the lethal colonialist rule of previous one (they change the Oromo name from Tolesa and Gemechu to Getnet and Gebremeskel and they change the name of our town namely Finfinnee to Addis Abeba, Bishoftu to Dabrezeit and Adama to Nazret).
The current colonialist TPLF elite plays in multiple cards and faces (mixing up the definition of Oromo people goal self-determination, statehood, sovereignty, and democracy, and creating dysfunctional organization like OPDO to distract the real goal of the struggle). But We Oromo people have to be proud to be an Oromo by challenging all those obstacles and keeping our determination intact for freedom with limited resources and absence of external assistance.
The police failed to bring Tesema Regasa and 15 others in the same file to the court
Mr Bekele Gerba and and the 21 others in the same file for a hearing at a court all barefoot.
The detainees were also wearing mere shorts and t-shirts when they appeared at the Federal High Court 19th Criminal Bench.
They left Qilinto only in underwear.
(A4O, 03.06.2016, Finfinnee, Oromia) The Addis Abeba prison administration Qilinto prison police have this morning brought prominent opposition figure Bekele Gerba and the 21 others in the same file for a hearing at a court all barefoot. The detainees were also wearing mere shorts and t-shirts when they appeared at the Federal High Court 19th Criminal Bench here in the capital.
Once inside the court room the detainees, through Bekele Gerba, first secretary general of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), told the judges that the police have come to their cells in Qilinto, a prison in the outskirt of south of Addis Abeba, yesterday and stripped them all of their clothes and shoes to prevent them from wearing black upon appearing in court this morning.
On May 11 the police have failed to bring the 22 detainees, all charged with Ethiopia’s infamous Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, ATP, to the court because all them were wearing black to protest their arrest. However, the police have told the court this morning that they didn’t bring defendants during the last hearing because they have not received a letter from the court. The judge told the police at the court this morning that the police officers on duty on May 11 must appear in court to explain the real reason.
Bekele also told the court that he and his co-defendants were subjected to torture and other forms of physical and psychological abuses inside the prison and requested the judge for a change of prison. But the judge denied the request.
The 22 defendants were all arrested between November and December 2015, shortly after the start (and in connection with) Oromo protests in November that gripped the nation for the next five months. Defendants include several members of OFC, students and civil servants who came from various parts of the Oromia regional state.
Prosecutors have charged the 22 with various articles of the ATP. The charges include, but not limited to, alleged membership of the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), public incitement, encouraging violence, as well as causing the death of innocent civilians and property destructions in cities such as Ambo and Adama, 120km west and 100km east of Addis Abeba during the recent Oromo protests in Ethiopia. This morning all of the defendants have presented a written defense statement. The court adjourned the next hearing until June 27.
In a related development, the police at Qilinto have failed to bring this morning 16 other individuals, all from the Oromia regional state and were detained in connection with the #OromoProtests, to the court. The 16 detainees, under the file name of Tesema Regasa were first brought to the court on April 26. They were subsequently charged with the ATP and have, last month, presented their defense statements to the court. Today’s court appearance was adjourned to hear prosecutors’ counter response for the defense statements. The court re-adjourned the next hearing until June 15.
Wondimu Ebbissa, who is representing Bekele Gerba et.al, said last month that more than 80 defendants, including Bekele Gerba et al, were held in Qilinto and a further 97 were believed to be either at the Ethiopian Federal Polcie Force Central Bureau of Criminal Investigation, known in Amharic as Ma’ekelawi, or the Addis Abeba police prison facility near it. All of them are detained in connection with #OromoProtests.
In a separate development, the Federal High Court 19th Criminal Bench yesterday adjourned the hearing for Yonatan Tesfaye, former spokesman of the opposition Semayawi (Blue) Party, until June 21. The court received Yonatan’s defense statement in its hearing and adjourned the next hearing to receive prosecutor’s counter statement.
Last month prosecutors have charged Yonatan with ATP and have presented as evidence the defendant’s Facebook status updates during the #OromoProtests. The charges against Yonatan allege that he was posting inciting message on his Facebook, encouraging protesters to loot and destruct properties. Charges also allege Yonatan was calling for regime change through violence.
By Etana Habte (April 23, 2016)
“My blood is not shed in vain, it is a blood paid to achieve the Oromo people’s right [for self-rule]. The Oromo nation inevitably achieves its rights through [the price paid in] my blood and of numerous other Oromo children yet to be sacrificed…” Maammoo Mazammir (1937-1970) (Olana Zoga, 1985 EC:428)
Many of us today may think that accusing potential and real enemies with charges of “terrorism” is in the natural behaviours of Ethiopia’s incumbent regime. This has been true over the last few years. But this does not mean that all accusations send out the same message to the public, especially when it comes to the Oromo. Considerable changes have been witnessed over the last five months. With the change of the status of Oromo national struggle the meaning such accusation carries has changed. I want to state that, today (22/04/16) by accusing 22 celebrated Oromo politicians with “terrorism” the Ethiopian state levelled such accusation against Oromoness (Oromo national identity)—a mark of over 40 million people— than a few politicians. It reminded me of all Oromo martyrs but I mention only one example, Maammoo Mazammir, mainly for lack of space.