Birtukan Celebrated! – Andenet DC Metro Press Release
Birtukan Mideksa, leader of Ethiopia’s largest opposition party, Unity for Democracy & Justice Party, was celebrated by the DC Metro community pursuant to her release from imprisonment by the dictatorial regime of Meles Zenawi.
The event, which took place on Saturday October 23, 2010 at the Washington Marriott Hotel, was attended by the community at large, representatives of other Ethiopian opposition groups and human and democratic rights organizations.
Ato Alemayehu Abebe, Chairman of Andenet DC Metro Support Chapter, outlined the circumstances of Birtukan’s continued ordeal under the authoritarian Ethiopian regime. He lauded Birtukan’s unwavering commitment to the struggle of the Ethiopian people even in the face of round‐the‐clock harassment.
Mr. Chris Flaherty, a film producer who conducted hunger strike in front of the White House campaigning for the release of Birtukan, made impassioned appeal for continued struggle until a democratic order is established in Ethiopia. Mr.Ebenezer Akunga , an activist and himself subject of persecution in Cameron, and champion of human right, also addressed the meeting and articulated the plight of Africans under dictatorships.
Yonatan Amezene of “Free Birtukan Mideksa & All Prisoners of Conscience” made a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the organization and how Ethiopians coalesced to conduct an effective worldwide campaign to release Birtukan’s release. Yonatan assured the gathering that the invaluable experience gained, and the way young Ethiopians gathered around this noble cause is exemplary and one which will have a lasting effect. In addition W/O Fikerte G.Mariam,Ato Asgede G.Selasie and Artist Tamagn Beyene were guest speakers. Representatives of political parties addressed the meeting and emphasized the need for continued cooperation betw een the parties, even as they maintain certain differences. They applauded Birtukan’s sacrifices and pledged to work together.
Five individuals who made tireless contribution for the struggle; Shambel Belayneh, Tewodros Tadesse,Fekadu Nessibu, Addis Dimtse Radio (Abebe Belew), and Dr. Negussie Nega were awarded plaques. The meeting was moderated by Ato Lemma Ataklti, Board Member of Andenet DC Metro Support Chapter and refreshments were served.