Deeply Shocked and Dismayed – Congressman Donald M Payne and European Parliament Member Ana Maria Gomes , (202) 225-3436

June 12th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

Joint Statement by Congressman Donald M Payne and European Parliament Member Ana Maria Gomes (more…)

Joint Statement by Congressman Donald M Payne and European Parliament Member Ana Maria Gomes

We are deeply shocked and dismayed to hear the guilty verdict of the 38 courageous human rights advocates, elected parliamentarians, and opposition leaders. This decision clearly demonstrates that the judicial process is controlled and managed by the ruling party in Ethiopia.

The verdict by the Court also proves beyond doubt that the Courts lack the necessary and required independence from political influence. These prisoners were deliberately and systematically misled by the Prime Minster’s office that a peaceful resolution was possible. In fact, on a number of occasions we were led to believe that an agreement between the prisoners and the Prime Minister was reached.

We strongly condemn this politically driven and unjust guilty verdict. This kind of authoritarian behavior will only lead to more violence and instability. What crime did the prisoners commit? They ran for parliament and won. Many Ethiopians lost their lives under this regime and many have been tortured while in prison. The Commission of Inquiry that the Ethiopian Parliament established to investigate the June 8, 2005 and November 1-10, 2005 violence, concluded that 193 civilians were killed and 763 injured by government security forces.

This regime not only murdered innocent civilians in the streets of the capital, but also killed prisoners who were locked up in their quarters. According to the Commission, security forces fired 1,500 bullets at prisoners inside the corrugated iron building, killing 17 and injuring 53 prisoners. Now, who is guilty of multiple crimes? The prisoners or the government whose own Commission of Inquiry stated that security forces used excessive force against civilians?

Once again, we call for the immediate release of these prisoners without condition.

Pictures Left to Right:

Ms. Birtukan Mideksa
Professor Mesfin Woldemariam
Dr. Yacob Hailemariam
Dr. Berhanu Nega And Cong. Payne Congressman Payne

Prisoners Of Conscience
Photos taken in August 2006 in Kaliti Prison.

  1. selam
    | #1

    Dear Congressman Donald M Payne and dear Ana Maria Gomes, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

    We know you will do whatever it takes and apply the necessary measure (action) to make the dictator understands your PR, and the nation voice. We can’t wait for that.

    A friend in need is a friend indeed.

    Thank you very much for standing with the people of Ethiopia.

  2. ewnetu
    | #2

    Dear Congressman Payne and MP Gomez,

    God bless you for all what you are doing.

  3. Ewnetu
    | #3

    “Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    “There is a lot to be said about the outrageous travesty of justice that is dignified as a trial in Ethiopia. By all counts, however, yesterday’s ruling demonstrates that the authorities have abandoned what little legalistic pretensions they used to project and embarked upon a new and audacious phase of lawlessness.

    Elsewhere, let alone unjustly accused pro-democracy activists and dissidents, even duly charged war crime suspects are not convicted before they were given all the possibilities for defending themselves because, in criminal proceedings, it is justice itself that is at stake and not just this or that accused. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, for example, goes to the extent of appointing lawyers to present the defense’s side of the case even against the will of the accused. In the up-side-down world of Ethiopian judges, however, all that is needed to convict the accused is a communication between prison officials and the judges. The accused have no opportunity to refute what their jailers say about them in their own trial. It is simply outrageous.” Dr. Dadimos Haile (Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM), University of Antwerp, Belgium, former judge)

  4. j.p.h
    | #4

    “Wenjel ende Nishan”
    Prof. Mesfin W/Marim

  5. Abel
    | #5

    Ana Gomez is the killer of Ethiopia. She might become mad when she realizes she was doing bad things.

    Love has nothing to do with the afairs of the country.
    She is responsible because the report illegally leeked when she had love afairs with one of CUD leaders.

  6. Sencale
    | #6

    Dose that mean we are not capabel to solve our problem ?
    How long are we going to depend on FERENGI stetment and so on is more interesting rather than an african ?
    Where is the Love to Ethiopians and Africans ?

    take care

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