Monthly Archives: August 2017

Commemorating the 2016 Irreechaa Massacre and Celebrating the 2017 Irreechaa Festival

(Melbourne, Australia, 17 August 2017)- Oromo didn’t expect the loss of more than six hundred people in one day when Celebrating Irreechaa Festival in Bishoftu Oromia on 02 October 2016 before shot at by military forces on the ground while helicopters fired teargas from the air.

Members of Oromo Community in Melbourne Australia are going to hold the commemorative ceremony at Federation Square to commemorate and remember Irreechaa Massacre.

Place: Federation Square, Corner Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000.

When: 30th of September 2017

Time: 6:00 PM

We are also delighted to invite you to be a part of the Oromo Thanksgiving Day celebration in Melbourne. This special event that adds more wealth to the multicultural traits of Melbourne will be held at Wilson Botanical Park.

Address: 668 Princes Highway, Berwick, VIC 3806.

Date: October 1, 2017

Time: 1:00PM – 5:00PM

 About Irreechaa Massacre

On October 2, 2016, the sacred grounds of Harsadi were littered with dead bodies where thousands of fellow Oromo were massacred by Ethiopia’s security force on the Irreechaa celebration. The deaths in Bishoftu occurred because security forces fired tear gas and live ammunition at a crowd of over a million people celebrating a cultural festival.

Reports show over 670 deaths from shooting and from being trampled. Many deaths remain unexplained. The incident is shrouded in mystery because of the media blackout which followed. At least some killings followed the event rather than taking place at the time and are believed to have been deliberately orchestrated by the government. Even now, after the atrocity, there has been no independent investigation and no appraisal of the number and identity of those killed.

Our Appeals

We ask all Oromo institutions to compile evidences, videos, pictures in their possession showing the mayhem the regime’s security force orchestrated during the event and more importantly the details of the victims. We also would like to ask all Oromo and Oromo organisations to produce research papers, short videos, poems, songs, that shall be used to commemorate and celebrate the lives of the victims of Irreechaa Massacre during the upcoming Irreechaa festival around the world.

We owe the victims of the Irreechaa massacre acknowledgement of their deaths and an explanation to the world of how and why they died.

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Members of Irreechaa Organising Committee comprised of representatives from the Advocacy for Oromia, Australian Oromo community Association, Oromia Support Group Australia, Southeast Region Melbourne Oromo Community Association Victoria Australia and Waaqeffannaa Association.

For further information contact us at info@advocacy4oromia.org.

For PDF format: Irreechaa-Appeal-Letter

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CAHDE statement on the public handcuffing of Dr. Merara Gudina!

(Advocacy4Oromia, 2 August 2017) The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Ethiopia condemns the handcuffing of Professor Merara Gudina on his way in and out of the court today.

A suspect in a criminal trial cannot be handcuffed without a reasonable ground to believe that he or she might be a risk to public safety and the safety of the police.

Absent a reasonable basis for suspicion, public handcuffing of a suspect is a flagrant violation of their dignity and an affront to common humanity.

Professor Merara Gudina is a well known academic, a veteran opposition leader, a high profile political prisoner, and a non-convict suspected of a non-violent crime. There is simply no justification whatsoever to handcuff such a suspect.

CAHDE believes that this is intended to (1) humiliate the defendant, (2) place undue pressure on his defense, and (3) break the spirit of defiance and resistance he has demonstrated so well since the trial began.

It is intended to humiliate him into submission and thereby conceal the dirty linen underneath this shabby spectacle of legality.