Daily Archives: September 4, 2017

Chaltu Takele: Oromo prisoner of conscience

(Advocacy4Oromia, 3 Sept 2017) Chaltu Takele, a second year sociology student in Addis Ababa University was arrested in May 2008. She was arrested suspected of being member of OLF.

After several months of incarceration at the notorious Federal Police Commission Crime and Forensic Investigation Center or Maekelawi, she was sentenced and transferred to Kaliti. She was convicted to 12 years of imprisonment and spent Eight years and one month in Kaliti.

While she was in Kaliti she graduated in Management by following her education in distance program from private College. Studying in prison is a rare case for most Oromo prisoners. Chaltu struggled to get permission to study. She fought hard to convince Kaliti prison officials and finally won the chance to study.

After Eight years and one months of harassment in Maekelawi and Kaliti, she was released in 2016. But, she remained under constant security surveillance. Her ambitions were to start her peaceful life by getting job in Finfine or elsewhere in Oromiya. She wanted to help her family.

In March 2017, after months of her release from prison, we heard the news that Chaltu was abducted in Finfinne and taken to Maekelawi alongside with two of her friends. She is still in Maelawi.

Chaltu’s history is typical example of Oromo women scarification for freedom.

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My flag

   By Dahabe Abdella

In the distance I see her, as she stands and waves,
As I sit and watch her, at the dawn of day.
As the sun arises, from our eastern forest,
I see Old Glory, she is battered and worn.
Her colors are faded, and her edges are frayed,
A symbol of our Nation, in its current stage.
I shed a tear, for my dear old friend,
As I remember what she’s seen, and the places she’s been.

She was there in the beginning, as she led in the fight,
As brave men and women fought, to defend what was right.
Gullallee, Anoolee, and for Calaqoo she flew,
Over blood soaked grounds, as our freedoms grew.
She made the journey, unto foreign lands,
Through Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya and Sudan.
Against oppression, tyranny, and terror by night,
She stood for freedom, as a beacon of light.

But now she’s here, in our present age,
As I wrapped her on my head, all tattered and frayed.
I can’t understand it, where we are,
From where we’ve been, it seems so far.
She’s been spit upon, trampled, burned and torn,
Dishonored, discarded, at home or abroad.
A House of cards, is where our liberties lie,
While a nation stands silent, as our freedoms slip by.
Where integrity, honesty and values are lost,
Where marriage is forsaken, the unborn pay the cost.

The word of God is silent, under Odaa tree,
Even from our schools, it is silent still.
The Lord of heaven, of earth, and of man,
Says “return to Me, and I’ll heal and liberate your land.”
We must go to Him, on bended knee,
Give all unto Him, and He’ll give unto thee.

As I watched my dear friend, as she starts to fly,
I hear her plea, I hear her cry.
As she sends out a call, across the land,
“To do what’s right, make a stand!”
“Liberty, Justice and Freedom” she sounds,
“Do not compromise, or cross the bounds.”
“We must stand together, though some may fall,
For freedom we’ll lose, if we don’t stand at all.”
“To laugh, to play, to worship and live,
How much is freedom worth, how much will you give?”
“Like those before us, in wars fought and won,
Our fathers, brothers, mothers, and sisters.”
“Who fought for freedom, they gave it all,
That our country may stand, and never, fall.”

As the sun descends, beyond the eastern view,
And taps is played, in a lonesome tune.
Old Glory is lowered, in the last bit of light,
For on this day, was her last flight.
She gave all she could, she gave all her might,
She fought to the last, she fought the good fight.
For in the breaking, of tomorrow’s new dawn,
New hope shall arise, as Glory lives on.
She shall arise again, bright shining and new,
As she continues the call, to me, and to you.
From sea to sea, and mountains of green,
Oromia Our land, our home, we must defend and fight.

How much will you give, as God’s own Son or daughter,
To bring us back to Him, so we can live on.
Will you join with us, hand in hand,
In prayer and fasting, to heal and liberate our land?
Though our country’s not free, this much is sure,
But it’s still our country, and it’s worth fighting for.

Oromia Shall be free!!!
#MyFlag #MyIdentity #OromoFlag #Oromia