Young leaders call for Birtukan’s unconditional release – Press Release

April 7th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

Fifty-nine young leaders from around the world have collectively called on Meles Zenawi to release Birtukan Mideksa unconditionally and allow her to have access to proper medical care. (more…)

Fifty-nine young leaders from around the world have collectively called on Meles Zenawi to release Birtukan Mideksa unconditionally and allow her to have access to proper medical care.

In an unprecedented open petition, the young leaders, who are widely recognized for their commitments to society and accomplishments in wide ranging fields such as business, academia, government, civic society, art and media, said that they were “very concerned over the continued human rights violations being committed against the young Ethiopian pro-democracy leader Ms. Birtukan Mideksa.”

The petition has noted that in spite of repeated appeals, Prime Minister Meles is insisting that Birtukan will serve life as she was convicted of treason and anti-state charges in a show trial. “At a time when Ethiopians are preparing for a general election, locking up the most popular and first woman leader in the country’s history casts serious doubts on the credibility and fairness of the elections,” the petitioners said.

Reminding Meles of the fact that Birtukan is recognized by Amnesty International and UN Human Rights Commission as prisoner of conscience and victim of arbitrary arrest, the petitioners expressed disquiet over recent news reports on the denial of basic medical care and visitation rights to the young Ethiopian leader despite her deteriorating physical and mental wellbeing.

“Ethiopia has incorporated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and similar international instruments in its constitution and laws. We strongly urge Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to show responsible leadership and respect for the rule of law by immediately and unconditionally releasing Birtukan Mideksa,” the petition said.

The young leaders also urged donor countries such as the United States to use their leverages to press Mr Zenawi to release Birtukan Mideksa and other prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia.

“This truly global petition is not just an appeal but a clear testimony to the fact that the world is watching human rights abuses being committed in any parts of the world. It would be wiser for Zenawi to release Birtukan rather than making her a household name around the world and expose his own folly and tyranny,” said Abebe Gellaw, who coordinated the petition drive.

“I drew the attention of these young leaders to the plight of Birtukan, a young woman who has risked her life for the sake of the holly cause of justice and freedom and everyone was clearly moved. So I did not even exert so much effort as everyone was willing to collectively act on this disturbing matter. The overwhelming response sends a clear message that no outrageous injustice passes by unnoticed,” he said.

According to Abebe, the petition was made possible while the young leaders gathered at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to attend the 2010 Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century, which is an executive education program.

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For further information, please contact coordinator of this global initiative, Abebe Gellaw, Center on Democracy Development and Rule of Law, • Encina Hall • 616 Serra St • Stanford, CA 94305-6055

Tel: +1 650 387 4940, Fax: (650) 725-2592 email: abe.gelaw@gmail.com

Free Birtukan Mideksa

We, the undersigned, are very concerned over the continued human rights violations being committed against the young Ethiopian pro-democracy leader Ms. Birtukan Mideksa.

Birtukan was re-arrested on December 29, 2008 in connection with a speech she made earlier to her supporters in Sweden. According to Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Commission, 36-year old former judge and leader of the pro-democracy movement in Ethiopia, is a prisoner of conscience and victim of arbitrary arrest unjustly incarcerated because of her political views and activities.

We are also disturbed with recent news reports that Birtukan has been denied basic medical care and visitation rights despite her seriously deteriorating physical and mental wellbeing.

In spite of repeated appeals, Prime Minister Meles has been insisting that Birtukan will serve life as she was convicted of treason and anti-state charges in a show trial. At a time when Ethiopians are preparing for a general election, locking up the most popular and first woman leader in the country’s history casts serious doubts on the credibility and fairness of the elections.

Ethiopia has incorporated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and similar international instruments in its constitution and laws. We strongly urge Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to show responsible leadership and respect for the rule of law by immediately and unconditionally releasing Birtukan Mideksa.

We also urge major donor countries like the United States to use their leverage to press Prime Minister Meles to unconditionally release Birtukan Mideksa and other prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia.

April 6, 2010

1. Mr. Mohammed Bin Essa Al-Khalifa, Bahrain
2. Mr. Wilmot Allen, USA
3. Ms. Orzala Ashraf Nemat, Afghanistan
4. Mr. Cenk Aydin, Turkey
5. Dr. Fatmir Besimi, Macedonia
6. Mr. Peter Bisanz, USA
7. Ms. Nilda Bullain, Hungary
8. Mr. Luis Camargo, Colombia
9. Mr. Francois-Philippe Champagne, Canada
10. Dr. Adrian Cheok, Japan
11. Mr. Funabashi Chikara, Japan
12. Ms. Yolanda Zoleka Cuba, South Africa
13. Mr. Emile Najib Cubeisy, Jordan
14. Mr. Marco De La Rosa, Venzuala
15. Mr. Hamish MacQuarie Douglass, Australia
16. Ms. Salimah Yvette Ebrahim, Canada
17. Mr. Marco Fiorese, Italy
18. Mr. Abebe Gellaw, Ethiopia
19. Mr. Yair Goldfinger, Isreal
20. Ms. Priya Karim Haji, USA
21. Mr. Abdulsalam Haykal, Syria
22. Mr. Ganhuyag Chuluun Hutagt, Mongolia
23. Mr. Vuyo Jack, South Africa
24. Ms. Munizae Jahangir, Pakistan
25. Dr. Jaeseung Jeong, South Korea
26. Mr. Ping Jia, China
27. Mr. Nik Kafka, United Kingdom
28. Ms. Verena Knaus-Nrecaj, Austria
29. Mr. Umit Ertug Kumcuoglu, Turkey
30. Mr. Siddhartha Lal, India
31. Ms. Peggy Liu, China
32. Mr. Patrick McWhinney, Canada
33. Mr. Stephan Godinho Lopes Morais, Portugal
34. Mr. Lorenzo Mendoza, Venzuala
35. Commissioner Ahmad Nadery, Afghanistan
36. Mr. Salvador Jose Paiz, Guatemala
37. Mrs. Efrat Peled, Israel
38. Ms. Jayne Plunkett, USA
39. Mr. Elias Prombo Pupesie Pungong, Cameroon
40. Mr. Sriram Raghavan, India
41. Mr. Fasel Rahman, United Kingdom
42. Mr. Allon Raiz, South Africa
43. Mrs. Aashmi Rana, Nepal
44. Ms. Kristin Denise Rechberger, USA
45. Mr. Bjarte Reve, Norway
46. Dr. Enric Sala, USA
47. Ms. Zainab Salbi, USA
48. Ms. Andrea Olivia Sanke, France
49. Mr. Bhavneet Singh, India
50. Ms. Lorna Solis, Nicaragua
51. Dr. Christoph Sutter, Switzerland
52. Mr. Kohey Takashima, Japan
53. Christopher To, Hong Kong
54. Mr. Mark C. Turrell, United Kingdom
55. Mr. Ashok Vemuri, USA
56. Mr. Andy Wales, United Kingdom
57. Mr. Jimmy Donal Wales, USA
58. Dr. Christian Wenk, Switzerland
59. Mr. Paul van Zyl, South Africa

Cc: Concerned organisations and individuals around the world

For further information, please contact coordinator of this global initiative, Abebe Gellaw, Center on Democracy Development and Rule of Law, • Encina Hall • 616 Serra St • Stanford, CA 94305-6055

Tel: +1 650 387 4940, Fax: (650) 725-2592 email: abe.gelaw@gmail.com

  1. Anonymous
    | #1

    ለመሆኑ ለምንድነው የታስረችው

  2. mateos
    | #2

    According to Meles and his boss Bereket, the only people that are above the law are them; with the blessing of foreing aid backers; however, they may have hoodwinkled the Ethiopian people and most of the world communities with their rhetoric of “aiga jungle democracy” for the past 19 years or so, but as we all know every thing has a climax/ending and Meles/Abebe/Legesse/Mathza and his boss Bereket days are numbered. They must face the justice of the innocent Ethiopian people, and that includes the innocent young girl of Bertukan who is forbidden to spend lavish time and god given with her mother, they have insulted, assaulted, rediculed, bled, harass, betray, kill, murder, sale, backstabbed, and so on for empty egotistical and avenge/revenge reasons. I’m very much optimistic ones these cancerous clique are exterminated from the face of the planet earth, then there will be peace among Ethiopian people and the whole region of East Africa!!!

  3. መሃረ
    | #3

    እንደዛ ብሎ የወይነ ጎማ ማስተንፈስ ነው ይህች የአትዮፕያ መብራት በአስችክይ መፈታት አለባት

  4. wow
    | #4

    Please, Google and read all information, if you don’t know why she is in prison, and if you are asking genuinely go to http://www.freebirtukan.org/

    God Bless Ethiopia!
    Death for Devil Melese and his Lovers!
    Free Birtukan Now!! She is our hero!

  5. Anonymous
    | #5

    ንጹህና እውነተኛ የህዝብ መሪ ስለሆነች
    ይህንን ደግሞ ጎይታይ መለስ ስለሚጠሉትና ስለሚፈሩት

  6. atuba dolla
    | #6

    Ms.Birtukan,the Judge and the democratically elected political leader,the mother of a little girl is the great force of nobility,balanced,and a role model for millions of men and women.

    You,young leaders of different nationalities have come together to form a unified force and have created synergy in the spirit of team work towards the unconditional releasing of Birtukan.Ethiopians are humbly indebted to your invaluable contribution to the releasing of Judge Birtukan Medeksa from the prision that Zinawi built.

    Currently young men and women in Ethiopia have picked up the torch where it started and the flame is fresh and alive still, and is being passed onto a citizen to citizens with the goal to free Judge and political leader,Birtukan Medeksa.Yes,we will celeberate victory together.

    Long live solidarity!!!
    Long live Birtukan!!!

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