Human Rights

Migrant Story: Migrants tell of torture and rape in Yemen

Eighty thousand Ethiopians risk their lives every year trying to get to Saudi Arabia and the promise of a better life. They are smuggled in boats across the Red Sea to Yemen and then must trek 500km (310 miles) to reach the Saudi border.

But it is a journey fraught with danger where thousands are tortured and sexually exploited by criminal gangs, as Yalda Hakim reports for BBC Newsnight.

Oromia: Video presentation about Human Rights Abuses

Saturday 7th May, 2011 marked the most exciting political event for Australian Oromo people. The Australian Oromo Community Association in Victoria created an event for politicians at a national level, and national government services to meet with the Oromo people; to learn of the Oromo people’s message and to facilitate a face-to-face consultation.

Adam Bandt, MP for Melbourne represents one of the highest levels of government in the Melbourne region, accompanied by representatives of Australia’s largest social security body (Centrelink), Australian Migrant Education Resource Service (AMES), Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and local Mayor sat down to listen to the community present the story of the community.

Over 600 Oromo people came to this event, so successful, there was no room to sit and people sat outside the jampacked hallway, eagerly waiting to hear the words of our people being taught to the highest political representatives of the Australian community.

Oromia:Human Rights Violations Against Oromo Nation

Mr. Tony Beasley, a representative from The Advocates for Human Rights, a Minnesota-based human rights group, speaks at the 4th Oromo Awareness Day at the University of Minnesota (UMN) on April 9, 2012 about the human rights violations against the Oromo nation by the TPLF regime, whose military occupation of Oromiyaa began in 1991.

Some of the violated human rights of the Oromo people include the right to self-determination, the right to work (in which, in several cases, Oromo job-seekers are forced to change their Afan-Oromo names and hide their Oromo-ness in order to get jobs), the right to education, and the right to take part in cultural life (it’s to be noted that Macha-Tulama Association’s leaders and supporters are currently in prison for promoting Oromo culture and historyhttp://gadaa.com/oduu/11478/2011/10/2… ). The representative also mentioned about the ongoing land-grabbing by the TPLF regime and foreign governments.

The above human rights are recognized by the UN’s International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR):http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ces…

Witnesses: Human Rights Issues in Oromia

Former Ethiopian President Negasso Gidada visits the USA to discuss human rights issues with Oromo American citizens.

Persecuted in Ethiopia: Hunted in Hargeisa

Refugees from Ethiopia and officials of NGOs and governments were interviewed in Somaliland and Djibouti in November and December 2011. Formal interviews with 43 refugees, including 17 in Hargeisa, confirmed other reports that a high proportion of refugees from Ethiopia give histories of torture.
Twenty one of the 43 interviewees (49%), including 13 of the 17 interviewed in Hargeisa (76%), had been tortured. Many instances of killing and rape by Ethiopian government forces were reported.
Somaliland officials and journalists claim that refugees from Ethiopia are at best economic migrants; at worst criminals and terrorists. Simplistic portrayal of immigrants as economic migrants ignores life-threatening destitution which is a direct result of Ethiopian government policies and the deliberate targeting of government critics for economic sanctions.
Because of the cooperation between Somaliland and Ethiopia, perceived critics and opponents of the Ethiopian regime are not given safe haven as refugees in Somaliland. Refoulement of refugees and asylum-seekers continues and UNHCR has proved ineffective in preventing this. Seven individuals were taken back to Ethiopia by combined units of Ethiopian and Somaliland forces between 25 October 2011 and 3 January 2012.
Refugee status determination and registration of asylum-seekers has been stalled since 2008. UNHCR recognises 1660 refugees and several thousand asylum-seekers. Recognised refugees were given monthly allowances of $40-80 per family by UNHCR and were given access to supplementary feeding, primary education and limited medical help at the Social Welfare Centre, provided by Save the Children under contract to UNHCR.

Djibouti: destitution and fear for refugees from Ethiopia

Refugees from Ethiopia and officials of NGOs and governments were interviewed in Somaliland and Djibouti in November and December 2011. Formal interviews with 43 refugees, including 26 in Djibouti, confirmed other reports that a high proportion of refugees from Ethiopia have been tortured.
Twenty one of the 43 interviewees (49%), including eight of the 26 interviewed in Djibouti, had been tortured. Every male former detainee (17) and four out of six female former detainees had been tortured-91% of 23 former detainees. At least four of the six female former detainees were serially and multiply raped.
Three more, two when aged 11-14, were raped by Ethiopian security forces in or near their homes. Interviewees reported 34 killings of close relatives and friends by Ethiopian security forces and the deaths of 94 in horrific circumstances in detention. One gave an eye-
witness account of the Weter massacre, where he reported 1000 were shot dead in 1992.
There are several hundred registered asylum-seekers in Djibouti city and several thousand undocumented immigrants from Ethiopia. Registration, which was resumed for new applicants in 2010, affords a degree of protection from police roundups and the threat of
deportation to Ethiopia. Refoulement of large numbers of registered asylum-seekers and UNHCR mandate refugees is now less common, due to better training of the Djibouti police by UNHCR.
However, refoulement of at least 25 Oromo and Ogadeni asylum-seekers and refugees occurred between November 2010 and January 2011. Eye-witness accounts corroborate claims that these men and women were abducted by snatch squads consisting of Djibouti and Ethiopian security forces.

For details:pr_48

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