Press Releases, 19 January 2015
Re: Great Loss to the Human Rights Community as Legendary Dr. Martin Hill Passes On
We are deeply saddened to hear the death of Dr Martin Hill, and we want to express our sincerest condolence to his wife and his family on behalf of the Advocacy for Oromia Association in Victoria Australia. Dr Martin was a long time friend and voice for the voiceless oppressed peoples of the world including the Oromo, and we greatly benefit from his support. Dr. Martin Hill passed away on Friday 9 January 2015.
Dr. Hill’s legacy at the Amnesty Secretariat office in London, as a researcher and a campaigner on the Horn of Africa in the human rights field for over 32 years, has many aspects. At sub-regional level where many human rights violations and suffering for the past three decades and lack of attention globally, Dr. Hill brought human rights issues and concerns in the limelight and earned the admiration and love of many people particularly Oromians, Eritreans, Ethiopians, and Somalis.
Dr. Hill worked with many voiceless people and individuals on the protection and promotion of human rights. Many of our friends particularly remember the first human rights defenders training for Somalis that Dr. Hill organized in 1997 in Kenya. He was instrumental in organizing sub-regional networks consultation meetings to the run up of the All Africa Human Rights Defenders Conference I 1998 and subsequently the global human rights summit in Paris in December 1998.
Dr. Hill will be remembered for his ardent support to human rights in the Horn of Africa. He inspired and mentored so many human rights activists who are now working with prominent human rights organizations around the world. He contributed to the fight against human rights violations and ending the culture of impunity in the sub-region.
Our thoughts are with his family and many friends around the world. The Advocacy for Oromia, a non-profit advocacy organisation working to ensure that the Oromo people’s rights and wishes are respected, extends its sincerest condolences to his wife, Dawn Hill and children. Dr Hill was a remarkable man, who made a difference in the lives of many voiceless people through his researching and campaigning activities on the Horn of Africa in the human rights field for over 32 years.
For more information: Advocacy for Oromia Oromia Press Release Dr Martin Hill
Advocacy for Oromia
19 January 2015
(A4O, 16 September 2014) On July 1, 2014, the International Oromo Youth Association and the Advocates for Human Rights submitted a detailed report to the Pre-Sessional Working Group of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The report identified numerous human rights violations of the rights of children under the age of 18 in Ethiopia. The report concluded that ethnic identity is a major risk factor—children belonging to certain ethnic groups such as the Oromo face severe discrimination and rights violations. The report specifically focuses on human rights violations that followed the recent peaceful protests that occurred across schools in the Oromia region. Other issues pertaining to liberty, security, privacy, freedom of expression and association, family, basic health and welfare, education, and leisure and cultural activities were also included in the report.
On July 17, 2014, IOYA received a letter of invitation to present the report at the closed session for the Committee on the Rights of the Child, part of the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday, September 26, 2014. IOYA will be sending two representatives from the executive board. Human Rights attorney Amy Berquist of the Advocates for Human Rights and IOYA president Amane Badhasso will present the report at the closed session and answer questions posed by the committee. In addition to the report, representatives of both organizations will have weeklong opportunity to meet with UN organizations and other NGO’s while in Geneva.
This is indeed a huge step for Oromos and other groups across the globe who have tirelessly worked to expose human rights violations in Ethiopia, particularly those against Oromo students. None of this would be possible without the financial contribution of Oromo Communities and individual donors. We are very grateful for the generous support and assistance provided to IOYA throughout the planning process.
We believe in the rule of law and implementation of human rights, as well as protection of all groups against violations of freedoms granted to all persons.
IOYA Press Release PR-Geneva
(A4O, 30 May 2014) More than 400 Oromo across Victoria, NSW, QLD, TAS, SA and WA will be gathering at Canberra’s Parliament house in a bid to expose the Ethiopian government’s recent human rights violations dubbed “Oromo Protests”.
Since April 25, leaked photographs and videos show Ethiopian security forces shooting live ammunition at unarmed students in universities across Oromia. Reports of 85 students are confirmed as dead, 500 protestors wounded and over 5000 people detained in unknown camp locations as the Ethiopian government restriction of public media is in full force.
In response, more than 30 international cities including Washington, Oslo, Tel Aviv and London have staged mass peace protests, picking up interest globally and trending heavily on social media. US Congress members have also released legislature on May 9 to publicly condemn the violence perpetrated by the Ethiopian government against its people as well as publicly acknowledge and urge the Ethiopian government to respect human rights and democratic processes.
The government violence in Ethiopia continues to escalate in a bid to silence dissent for the proposed land grabbing in the capital city Finfinne (Addis Ababa). The “Master Plan expansion” seeks to dispossess Oromo farmers and displace 1.1 million hectares of land.
Ethiopia’s human rights abuses are well documented by human rights watch and US state departments and the current Oromo protests has renewed support to launch an international investigation to bring the responsible perpetrators to justice.
Federal Melbourne MP, Adam Bandt called for support of the Oromo people during Oromo protests held at Victoria’s State Parliament House.
On Monday, Australian Oromo communities will call on the Australian government to set an example by using its influence in the United Nations to put political, economic and diplomatic pressures upon the Ethiopian government to stop its continued attack on Oromo lives, their political organisations, educational establishments and the right to self-determination.
400 people from Australian Oromo communities Victoria, NSW, QLD, TAS, SA and WA will be gathering at Parliament Drive in Canberra on Monday 2nd June at 10am.
For more information Australia’s Oromo people rally in Canberra, Australia