Ethiopia – Ethiopian regime strikes blow against democracy, human rights – By Mesfin Mekonen

June 13th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

Washington, DC ““ The decision by the Ethiopian regime of Meles Zenawi to convict 38 opposition leaders and journalists in a show trial of a variety of trumped up charges, (more…)

Washington, DC ““ The decision by the Ethiopian regime of Meles Zenawi to convict 38 opposition leaders and journalists in a show trial of a variety of trumped up charges, including organizing rebellion against the government, defies international standards of justice and human rights. The defendants, who could be sentenced to death or long jail terms, were unjustly arrested and then convicted by a corrupt judicial system that takes its orders from the government. They are guilty of nothing more than attempting to peacefully protest or report on election improprieties, and call for the respect of fundamental human and democratic rights.

The convictions have been condemned by international human rights and press freedom organizations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists. “We condemn this verdict which falls within the government’s pattern of judicial harassment to intimidate and silence the private press,”? Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists said.

Some members of the U.S. Congress have spoken out, pointing to the Ethiopian government as the true criminals. Representatives Donald Payne (D-N.J.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.) recently introduced legislation that seeks to at least put the U.S. on record as opposing the Ethiopian regime’s repression of legitimate dissent.

“I believe, along with many other people in both parties, that the Bush administration has not put enough pressure”? on the Ethiopian government, Smith said when he introduced his legislation. “Ethiopia is a great ancient civilization, whose people suffer from unlawful killings, and beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees and opposition supporters by security forces; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention, particularly those suspected of sympathizing with or being members of the opposition; detention of thousands without charge and lengthy pretrial detention.”?

The words of a handful of courageous members of Congress are not sufficient. The United States, European Union, and the international community must condemn the verdicts and press for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Ethiopia. An international body such as the United Nations should establish a neutral body to investigate the plight of Ethiopia’s political prisoners.

Any government that remains silent in the face of this blatant injustice is complicit. This is particularly true of the United States, which is collaborating with the Ethiopian government to battle terrorism.

Failure to act to speak out for, and to protect the human rights of the Ethiopia’s political prisoners threatens to undermine America’s and the world’s security. The Ethiopian regime is creating the conditions that breed terrorism ““ poverty, corruption, tyranny, censorship of the media, and promoting sectarian violence ““ and the U.S. government’s apparent acquiescence is making a volatile situation worse. The Ethiopian people’s faith in democracy, in their power to enact desperately needed changes peacefully, is rapidly fading, and hope in democracy, once lost, will be very difficult to regain.

For more information, please contact Mesfin Mekonen,
Ethiopian American Council, tel. 202-737-4530 e-mail mmekonen@aol.com

  1. grum
    | #1

    Who have talked about killed people by derg regim?? We had not tecnology att taht time (Internet)…

    So what´s new in ethiopia..Or is that because those cud´s are dr,profesur etc???????

  2. Tigist
    | #2

    “grum” what you are saying doesn’t give a sense. All I noticed is that you sound like you are resented there is internet these days and serves as a powerful media. Yes, that is so true. That is why the stupid Weyanne regime trying to block Ethiopians from visiting the opposition web sites. Well, still Weyanne has no way of controlling the technology. It has to just fit and live with it, which is obviously very difficult task for backward and primitive Weyannes. However, if they can’t adapt to the 21 century, they are not going to have any place.

  3. fish
    | #3

    Grum Yes one is because they are Dr and Profs becouse they stand for the truth because they know. Second others wrong doing doesn’t justify your wrondgs and it is a falacy there is no logic to compare the two. The world is changing and we also shoud you can’t stay as cave man in the 21st century. You woyanes should be able to update yourself and able to climb up to the present day civilised social state.

  4. ENATHAGER
    | #4

    those who convict our leadrs today will pay the price we will not forget any of the crime you commit may be we are powerless to stop you today may be you are todays GEGNOCH BUT THIS IS MY PROMIS I WILL NOT FORGET TILL MY LAST BREATH I WILL TEACH MY CHILDRENS AND ANY OF MY REALATIV WHEN WE RISE IT IS GOING TO BE DEEP REVANGE YOU WILL SEE IT YOU COMMIT CRIMEON US WHICH YOU SAY HAPPENS ON YOU BY DERGE BUT IF THIS IS YOUR ANSWER FOR PEACEFULL OPPOSITION GO ON KILL US BUT MAKE SURE YOU KILL ALL OF US IF NOT WE WILL.

  5. Melkie D.
    | #5

    I couldn’t believe what Grum was saying. Don’t you think our country deserve an internet? I know if it was up to weyane and the person like you! the diaspora web sites and internet sites would have been blocked. Please note that, you seems like underestimating these golden educated leaders who have thought all kind of subjects in a broad and in our country to help our people. In fact some of the weyane corapted cadres and the so-called leaders was the student of these golden leaders. Believe me there is nothing fore ever and just wait you will have your turn soon.You are such an idiot who has no clue about politics.

  6. dedeb
    | #6

    Woyane thugs please don not spit your filthy, stinky dirty mouth here you don’t belong go to aiga where all the stupids belong ..

    woyane thugs you abandon text messging technology from the country for your own stupidity. Oh you want to stop Internet? How about the electic power.., television, radio??

    Damn Hodam, Denkoro thugs this is not dedbit go to your jungle… dedeb hulu..

  7. Shumet Menywab
    | #7

    Dear Kaliti Prisoners,
    We most of Ethiopians inside and out side of the country know why the Woyane Government is doing inhuman acts to you. You are so commited to do the right thing for your country and people! Time and again, the Woyane court system and its court actors show that they can only follow what they have been told to do by their masters! No human reactions they have what so ever! In Woyane’s prison, a prisoner is already proven guilty way before due process takes over! The only thing the Woyane judges have been educated is to back the government in any way they can. Politics takes over professions.
    The Ghandis, Marthin Luthers, living legend Mandelas and so many rightful individuals around the world made tremendious differences on so many poor, rich, hopeful, hopeless, helpful and helpless people’s lives and life styles. So we know you prisoners of the Woyane type of revolutionary victms too are caring the same messages to deliver to the whole people of Ethiopia. We the conscience around the world are not going to let your jailers to unload “˜your cary on freedom back-packs’ before you deliver to your people! Please hang on with your “˜Kibir Lenetsanet!’

    Thank you for your sacrifications, a sucrivication that for sure will not go without freedom for all!!
    Yours,
    Yenetsanet Agar,
    Shumet Menywab
    A call to my fellow, Ethiopians,
    It is obvious that the Ethiopian people’s Choice for Freedom is being hijacked in the hands of Meles and his supporters, the West, because the Ethiopians those who themselves could not believe and stand behind their leaders to say enough is enough. There is nothing more than the reality of the Kaliti prisoners those who chose to put their lives for the Ethiopian people first. It would be unforgivable sin to not understand this and think their decission to be in this situation is for some other hiden agenda.
    How can I lose my conscience to think these prisoners are not doing the right thing for all Ethiopians. Their position is up in the center of Ethiopian political solution that is “˜asking for mercy to save Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people.’
    In the face of EPRDF’s ethnic politics and private judges, these individuals decided not to share government power over their people. From the start, they knew the EPRDF/TPLF constitution is not the right constitution to participate in but it was their decission to change it with peaceful struggle from within.
    When the Kaliti prisoners challenged the EPRDF’s/TPLF’s political structure over the Ethiopian society, the May 2005 ellection witnessed that they became the first publicly ellected leaders of the country.
    After this political victory, it was their responsibility not to share this government’s power over the people of Ethiopia with out a reflection of the people’s power over the government. They demanded EPRDF/TPLF to respond to that public ellection positively by answering the Eight Points first if that political process to bring any positive out come but EPRDF/TPLF decided that this will never happen. So the real problem of today’s Kaliti prisoners suffering for the Ethiopian people by the government of EPRDF/TPLF began here and only here.
    These prisoners did not ask EPRDF/TPLF to go out of the Ethiopian political process. They did not call the people of Ethiopia to pick up armament to over throw the government. The goverment’s blame for the Kaliti prisoners to cause the ellection 2005 after math is like saying the ‘slaves should never demand their masters to set them free.’
    Then why are we not understanding these and stand united to be behind these prisoners? Their lives are either in the deaf ears of ours to dump them into the Government’s pre calculated and prepared graves or in the conscience ears of ours to stand together to save them to save us. There is no more urgent time for unity than today.
    There must be a call for civic uprisal all over the country. The list the people of Ethiopia can do for these prisoners cause is to stay home for indefinit time that is until the Wyane government realizes its survival is only until the people say ‘life goes on’ by sacrifising conscience individuals’ like these.
    If we think of ourselves to challenge EPRDF/TPLF in a ‘different time and different way, either we most probabily are not speaking for the truth and reality of today’s Ethiopian political situation or we are so limited with our temporary interests in the EPRDF political system. If we decided to be a drop out of this political reality, we may never get any chance to solve our problem again.
    The right thing to do now is to leave ones political difference aside and support these people’s cause for freedom. I am not asking to ask the government to free the prisoners and do nothing. What I am asking is to become united on this cause and fight the government together.
    The call should not be to tell those who are in the armed struggle to drop their arms and join the peaceful struggle, instead it should be a political cooperation between those who believe on the peaceful struggle and armed struggle.
    To choose to live in the jungle in order to fight a dictator government is not to be blamed. Instead it should be a call for every conscience people to understand the cause and effect of armed struggle.
    TPLF knows very well on this. It should not either decieve us or cheat us when it is claiming itself for peace and others for antipeace. By now, we all know what this political gang was.
    The real peace comes when every one understands the cause and effect of the ugly human sufferings as a consequence of fighting each other with guns as oppose to fighting among us with civil right issues.’
    So let us all say no for further human sufferings by being united on the cause Kaliti freedom fighters. This freedom shall come from unity for lasting peace.
    All Ethiopians shall understand that a ‘separate agenda will never solve one problem. We shall live togher without any political and economical opperession over another by creating democracy for all.
    We shall never blame EPRDF/TPLF’s action over the people of Ethiopia until we know our lack of unity is the main problem!!

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