European Parliament attacks Ethiopian government’s stance on human rights – European Parliament

June 5th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

The lack of democracy and the large-scale human rights violations in Ethiopia were condemned by MEPs on Tuesday at a hearing held by the EP’s Development Committee and the Human Rights Subcommittee. (more…)

The lack of democracy and the large-scale human rights violations in Ethiopia were condemned by MEPs on Tuesday at a hearing held by the EP’s Development Committee and the Human Rights Subcommittee. The Ethiopian Government’s refusal to send a representative to speak to MEPs was also criticised.

“The human rights situation has deteriorated since 2005 with the imprisonment of members of the opposition and human rights defenders who still await trial”, said Josep Borrell (PES, ES), chair of the Development Committee, at the start of the meeting.

The former President of the European Parliament expressed disappointment at the refusal to attend the meeting by the ambassador of Ethiopia to the EU, Ato Berhane Gebre-Christos. In a letter addressed to MEPs, the Ethiopian foreign minister stated that the invitation could not be accepted, partly because “the list of invited speakers to this hearing does not indicate any intention to try and reach a balanced or accurate assessment of the stage of democratisation in Ethiopia today”.

Referring to the parliamentary elections of May 2005, which were marred by fraud, the chair of the Human Rights Subcommittee, Hélène Flautre (Greens/EFA, FR), emphasised “the importance of envisaging follow-ups to election observations”. “By acting as if there was nothing wrong, we strip the European Union’s policy in this area of all credibility”, she said.

Judge Woldemichael Meshesha Damtto, former vice-chair of the commission of inquiry set up following the protests which took place in June and October 2005 against the election results, said the members of the commission had been pressed by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to alter their findings. “The civilians used no weapons, the forces used excessive violence, 193 people were killed, 760 were injured and 20,000 were arrested and held in military camps”, he said. These claims were backed up by Mulualem Tarekegn, an opposition figure and former member of the Ethiopian Parliament, who today lives under international protection in Sweden.

In an urgent resolution adopted in November 2006 in Strasbourg, the EP called on the Ethiopian Government “to publish unamended and in its entirety, and without any further delay, the final report of the Commission of Inquiry”.

Ana Gomes (PES, PT), who led the EP election monitoring mission for the 2005 parliamentary elections and is attacked by name in the letter from the Ethiopian foreign ministry, said she was accustomed to the attitude of the Ethiopian authorities, who attacked her personally instead of taking notice of the EU observers’ findings. “The attitude of the present government, which is violating the human rights and the aspirations to democracy of its people, and the behaviour of the Ethiopians in Somalia, who are committing atrocities, are a disgrace”, she said.

“Droits de l’homme et démocratisation en Ethiopie: situation actuelle et perspectives “, audition conjointe de la commission du développement et de la sous-commission des droits de l’homme

Committee on Development
Chair : Josep Borrell Fontelles (PES, ES)
Subcommittee on Human Rights
Hélène Flautre (Greens/EFA, FR)

REF.: 20070605IPR07478

Thomas Dudrap
Press Service
E-mail address :
Telephone number in Brussels : +32 2 284 45 24 (BXL)
Mobile number : +32 4 98 98 32 84

  1. lingerew ewenetun
    | #1

    congratulations to all Ethiopians and those who love freedom and human rights. things started to reveal by themselves and woyane started another crack. The main or huge money supporter of woyane is EU. But woyane can not try to deny their anti-human right behavior.Hence woyanes chose to refuse their invitation in EU parlament. Really this is another crack for those who try to cheat Ethiopian people by their millinium song.

  2. fish
    | #2

    Thsi is the result a peacfull strugle that woyanes were undermining it before. This will be the first but slowely but shurely woyanes will be in the haig or in ethiopian court.

    “Beseferut kuna mesefer aykerim” aye abesha yeminagerew eko kemeret teb ayelim

  3. | #3

    The United Nations Basic Principles on the use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials provides that security forces should use force only when strictly necessary in the circumstances. If force is unavoidable, it may be used only in proportion to the seriousness of the offense so as to minimize injury. Under the Principles, governments must investigate and criminally punish the abusive use of force by law enforcement officials. The above internationally recognized and acceptable principles have no place and value in our country due to the current tyrant TPLF/EPRDF. Citizens were killed by TPLF “Agazi tor”?. Citizens detained without charges and still in detention in different secret campgrounds (Dedessa, Shwea Robit, Tolai, et”¦.).

    The problem with taking Meles and his party, TPLF as a symbol of a promising but tragically underfunded African renaissance is that his government has amassed an appalling human rights record during its 14 years in power. While this government is an improvement over its brutal predecessor, its human rights record is nonetheless extremely grim.

    EU leaders and US should take Ethiopia’s example as a reminder that their efforts to fight poverty in Africa must be accompanied by an equally serious effort to address the human rights abuses responsible for so much of the continent’s misery.

    Congra! To all Ethiopians,
    Human Right Activists,
    Amnesty International
    And all who loved freedom and democracy. Melles has consistently refused to tolerate any sort of human-rights related criticism. But the time is not so far to tolerate infront of the International court. “You never find yourself until you face the truth”?…. TPLF cadres.

  4. fish
    | #4

    The meles government is not retrained by the human right abouse at home. The meles regioum is commiting Genocide in somalia this is the real genocide not the CUD joke. Meles is trying to eradicate the somalis one tribe and as result drive our more than 400,000 civilians from their home and killed thousends even he went to mokadisho to llook at his pray an empty city only his own and some antisomalian prsonels. I guess this back ward woayane didn’t see the trap set by the EU to make shure that he will be accountable for his atrocity and filthy mouth againest the hounerable Ann Gomez. Look what i shappening to chaless taylor,chiluba and soon the uneducated meles.

  5. Addis Zena
    | #5

    I need addis zena. News that shows the freedom of all Ethiopian from real prison or from overt & covert prison of the woyane forces.

  6. Addiszena
    | #6

    I need addis zena. News that shows the freedom of all Ethiopian from real prison or from overt & covert prison of the woyane forces.I am longing to see freedom, democracy & develpoment in Ethiopia.
    I bless in God & that will happen one day in my life.
    “”Get up Stand up for your right & dont give up the fight.”"

  7. fish
    | #7

    it is a process, it is not easy to teach and get rid of born killers woyane. a year maximum in my opinion woyane will start to beg ethiopians. Look when meles almost sacrifce him self for media attention. His ambasador in germany afraid to attend a meting. hahahah

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