Love and Honour for our living and fallen heroes who resisted any barbarian act against Oromo nation
|Addee Asli Oromo: The first woman in the history of Ethiopian Empire that sentenced to death because of her political vision about Oromo people but released after 18 years in prison as a result of international communities campaign.||Addee Urjii Dhaabaa: Is one out of many Oromo Women that survived sexual aggression of Ethiopian government military force, police and security agents.|
Thank you Mr, Chairman
Your excellences member of the European parliament, Dear participants, Ladies and Gentlemen, my most heartfelt thanks are extended to the Organising Committee of this seminar. I am particularly grateful to my informants Asli Oromo, Urjii Dhaabaa, Ilfinesh Qano and Dinkinesh Dhereessaa whom I am able to speak to about the agony they endured and who also morally supported of the Oromo women survivors of sexual violence who able to speak to them while their stay in Ethiopian Prison.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ethiopia is the tenth largest country in Africa and it is the second most populated country in Africa with projected population of 100 million by 2020. It has a number of nations/ nationalities with distinct culture. Ethiopia consists of peoples speaking more than 80 different languages (CSA, 2006). Currently, Ethiopia is classified into nine regional states. Oromia is the largest regional state in land mass and population. Ecologically and agriculturally Oromia region is the richest region in the Horn of Africa. Oromos are accounted for more than 45% of the population of the Ethiopian empire. The population size of the Oromo people and their resources makes Oromia the heart of Ethiopia. Failure and progress in Oromia regional state is grossly contribute to the failure and progress to Ethiopia.
Oromo people are egalitarian society. Historically their democratic system of government known as “Gadaa” governed the social, economic political affairs of the Oromo people. Under Gadaa, Oromo women developed their own unique institution known as “Siiqee”. Oromo women used Siiqee institution to defend their rights, promote their interests and challenge male domination. After the Oromo people are colonized in 1880s all Oromo institutions are either totally banned or incapacitated. Since then the Oromo people are denied the right to determine on their social, economic, political and cultural affairs. For example, banning or incapacitating Siiqee hindered the Oromo women defending their rights. The colonial power not only banned and incapacitated Oromo institutions but also introduced and/or widened gender hierarchy and discriminatory social practices. This conditioned Oromo women to bear double burdens (i.e. colonial and male domination) and exposed them to sexual violence.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The definition and the scope of sexual violence is a major problem in communications as it can be defined either narrowly or broadly. Here are four selected exemplary definitions of the term for the purpose of this presentation. The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (UN, DEVAW, 1993), defines violence against women as: ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.
The second definition of violence which is worthy to consider is one that is found in the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, better known as the Maputo Protocol, which was adopted by the African Union in 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique and entered into force in 2005 (AU, Maputo Protocol, 2003). As per this protocol, violence against women means: “all acts perpetrated against women which cause or could cause them physical, sexual, psychological, and economic harm, including the threat to take such acts; or to undertake the imposition of arbitrary restrictions on or deprivation of fundamental freedoms in private or public life in peace time and during situations of armed conflicts or of war” (AU, Maputo Protocol, 2003: article 1.b. paragraph. 8)
October 27, 2014
Victims include politicians, students, singers and civil servants, sometimes only for wearing Oromo traditional dress, or for holding influential positions within the community, the London-based advocacy group said in a report today. Most people were detained without charge, some for years, with many tortured and dozens killed, it said.
“The Ethiopian government’s relentless crackdown on real or imagined dissent among the Oromo is sweeping in its scale and often shocking in its brutality,” Claire Beston, the group’s Ethiopia researcher, said in a statement. “This is apparently intended to warn, control or silence all signs of ‘political disobedience’ in the region.”
The Oromo make up 34 percent of Ethiopia’s 96.6 million population, according to the CIA World Factbook. Most of the ethnic group lives in the central Oromia Regional State, which surrounds Addis Ababa, the capital. Thousands of Oromo have been arrested at protests, including demonstrations this year against what was seen as a plan to annex Oromo land by expanding Addis Ababa’s city limits.
Muslims demonstrating about alleged government interference in religious affairs were also detained in 2012 and 2013, Amnesty said in the report, titled: ‘Because I am Oromo’ – Sweeping Repression in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia.
The state-run Oromia Justice Bureau said the findings were “far from the truth” in a reply to Amnesty included in the report. “No single individual has been and would not be subjected to any form of harassment, arrest or detention, torture for exercising the freedom of expression or opinion.”
The majority of detainees are accused of supporting the Oromo Liberation Front, which was formed in 1973 to fight for self-determination, according to Amnesty.
Senior Oromo politicians Bekele Gerba and Olbana Lelisa were jailed in 2012 for working with the group, which was classified as a terrorist organization by lawmakers in 2011.
“The accusation of OLF support has often been used as a pretext to silence individuals openly exercising dissenting behavior,” Amnesty said.
The bulk of Amnesty’s information came from interviews with 176 refugees in Kenya, Somalia and Uganda in July this year and July 2013. More than 40 telephone and e-mail conversations were also conducted with people in Ethiopia, it said.
Some interviewees said they fled the country because of conditions placed on them when released, such as being told to avoid activism, meeting in small groups, or associating with relatives who were political dissenters, the report said.
Amnesty has been banned from Ethiopia since 2011 when its staff was deported.
To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa at email@example.com
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(A4O, 1 November 2014) A new report released on Tuesday by an international human rights group said Ethiopia has “ruthlessly targeted” the Oromo people, the country’s its largest ethnic group.
Amnesty International said thousands of Oromo people had been systematically subjected to unlawful killings, torture and enforced disappearance.
“Because I am Oromo” – Sweeping repression in the Oromia region of Ethiopia exposes how Oromos have been regularly subjected to arbitrary arrest, prolonged detention without charge, enforced disappearance, repeated torture and unlawful state killings as part of the government’s incessant attempts to crush dissent.
The report said at least 5,000 Oromos had been arrested between 2011 and 2014 for their “actual or suspected peaceful opposition to the government”.
“The Ethiopian government’s relentless crackdown on real or imagined dissent among the Oromo is sweeping in its scale and often shocking in its brutality,” said Amnesty International researcher Claire Beston.
Amnesty said that the majority of the Oromo people were targeted over their alleged support to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a group that is fighting for the self-determination of the Oromo people.
The report was compiled based on testimonies from 200 exiled Oromo people, including former detainees.
Amnesty International’s report documents regular use of torture against actual or suspected Oromo dissenters in police stations, prisons, military camps and in their own homes.
A teacher told how he had been stabbed in the eye with a bayonet during torture in detention because he refused to teach propaganda about the ruling party to his students.
A young girl said she had hot coals poured on her stomach while she was detained in a military camp because her father was suspected of supporting the OLF.
A student was tied in contorted positions and suspended from the wall by one wrist because a business plan he prepared for a university competition was deemed to be underpinned by political motivations.
Former detainees repeatedly told of methods of torture including beatings, electric shocks, mock execution, burning with heated metal or molten plastic and rape, including gang rape.
Although the majority of former detainees interviewed said they never went to court, many alleged they were tortured to extract a confession.
“We interviewed former detainees with missing fingers, ears and teeth, damaged eyes and scars on every part of their body due to beating, burning and stabbing – all of which they said were the result of torture,” said Claire Beston.
Detainees are subject to miserable conditions, including severe overcrowding, underground cells, being made to sleep on the ground and minimal food. Many are never permitted to leave their cells, except for interrogation and, in some cases, aside from once or twice a day to use the toilet. Some said their hands or legs were bound in chains for months at a time.
As Ethiopia heads towards general elections in 2015, it is likely that the government’s efforts to suppress dissent, including through the use of arbitrary arrest and detention and other violations, will continue unabated and may even increase.
“The Ethiopian government must end the shameful targeting of thousands of Oromos based only on their actual or suspected political opinion. It must cease its use of detention without charge, torture and ill-treatment, incommunicado detention, enforced disappearance and unlawful killings to muzzle actual or suspected dissent,” said Claire Beston.
Interviewees repeatedly told Amnesty International that there was no point trying to complain or seek justice in cases of enforced disappearance, torture, possible killings or other violations. Some were arrested when they did ask about a relative’s fate or whereabouts.
Amnesty International believes there is an urgent need for intervention by regional and international human rights bodies to conduct independent investigations into these allegations of human rights violations in Oromia.
Former detainees told Amnesty that methods of torture included “beatings, electric shocks, mock execution, burning with heated metal or molten plastic and rape, including gang rape”.
BBC interviewing torture survivor and Dr Awol K on Amnesty report.
The Oromo account for nearly 45% of the country’s 94 million population.