Dallas Pays Tribute to the Courage of Judge Birtukan
Dallas, January 10, 2020
Organized under the umbrella of the Constituents of for Democracy of Dallas, an extra ordinary commemoration was organized for Birtukan in Richardson, TX. The commemoration was held at the Double Tree Hotel on January 10, 2010. (more…)
Dallas, January 10, 2020
Organized under the umbrella of the Constituents of for Democracy of Dallas, an extra ordinary commemoration was organized for Birtukan in Richardson, TX. The commemoration was held at the Double Tree Hotel on January 10, 2010.
If the TPLF regime thought it can silence the voice for justice, freedom and democracy in Ethiopia by throwing Birtukan to its dungeon prison, this month’s world-wide events in the anniversary of Birtukan’s incarceration proves otherwise. Her single voice is rather amplified by thousands of her admirers and followers. In this vain, Dallas joined the world in remembering Birtukan in a two-part event. Part 1 of the event was conducted in English with participation of invited American guests and Ethiopians. Speakers for this part of the event included:
1. Ato Bitru , the Vice Chairman of Constituents for Democracy who gave the welcoming and opening remarks.
2. Mr. Ebenezer Akwanga: an Amnesty International representative from DC gave the Keynote speech
3. Dr. Rick Halperin: A member of the Board of Directors in Amnesty USA
4. Mr.Raggio:Democratic candidate for Congressional District 32
5. Mrs.Gillian Parrillo from Dallas Democratic Party Committee
Also present for the occasion were eight other members from the local chapter of Amnesty USA, District judges and other community activists.
The keynote speaker who himself was a one time political prisoner in Cameroon reminded the audience to never let up the fight not only for release of Birtukan but also for the fulfillment of her aspiration for a free, democratic and lawful Ethiopia. Drawing from his experience in prison, he declared that evil doers like Meles will lose in the end. He then asked the audience to fill the post card prepared by Amnesty International to send it to Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton in order to ask her help for the immediate and unconditional release of Birtukan.
Following the keynote speaker, Mr. Dejene Assaye, chairman of the Dallas UDJ chapter took the stage. After explaining that the regime of Meles Zenawi survives on the aid it receives from International donors, he appealed to all who are gathered to ask their representatives in government to urge the Obama administration to hold Meles’s regime accountable for his human rights abuses of the people of Ethiopia. Dr. Halperin asked the audience to join Amnesty in their locality to help people like Birtukan who are thrown to jail for no fault of their own. He insisted that we should never be silent when evil is done to our fellow human beings.
Other speakers such as Mr. Raggio draw on the experience of the civil rights history in the US not to lose hope in our pursuit for rule of law and human rights. They all asserted that we should never stop the good fight for justice for we are bound to win even though some of us like Birtukan can be sacrificed.
Before the end of the first part of the event, candles were lighted for vigil and a placard was presented in recognition of the courage of Judge Birtukan. Mrs. Sindu of the local UDJ support group received the placard on behalf of Birtukan. Mrs Sinudu emotionally appealed to her fellow Ethiopian sisters to join in mass the cause of Birtukan. After 10 minutes break, the second part of the event was opened by Ato Bitru’s reading of a good will message from the poet Ato Getachew Abera. A youngster in the audience also read a beautiful poem that high lights the courage and sacrifice of Birtukan.
Finally, the main invited guest speaker artist and activists Tamagne Beyene spoke. Tamagne made a passionate appeal to all Ethiopians to cherish and recognize heroes like Birtukan in order to encourage others to follow in her footsteps. He warned that without such an act, we can dry up the well of leaders for our people’s liberation. Tamagne also shared his impressive audio and video clips to show us the impending damage on the very fabric of Ethiopian society that is being perpetrated by the ethnic domination of the TPLF elite. He showed the increasing fratricidal killings that are occurring in places like Ogaden. Gambellas, Ormomia, Gondar, Wollo , etc. He insisted unless we act in concert and fast in order to stop the TPLF from tearing our society, our children will face an ethnically fractured society than now.
Once again, the anniversary events that were held throughout the world including in Ethiopia show that the incarceration of leaders like Birtukan cannot silence the voice for justice, freedom and democracy in Ethiopia. If anything, as shown by the people who were gathered in Dallas in commemoration of Birtukan’s one year in prison, our voice is amplified by additional voices of human rights activists all over the world.