Press Release regarding the recent arrest of the opposition party members and journalists Andinet North America
It has been public knowledge that TPLF/EPRDF’s promulgation of the antiterrorism laws and more recently the classification of some dissident groups and political forces as “terrorists” by the parliament the regime fully controls and uses as a rubber stamp, is a calculated decision to rule the country with fear and without any political space for opposition or dissent. More recently, the regime traversed any sense of decency when it began rounding up opposition leaders, journalists, and community leaders that it thinks may pose a threat to its full control of the country.
The detention of Andualem Aragie, the vice president of the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party(UDJ), Asaminew and Natnaiel Mekonnen, members of UDJ General Assembly, Bekele Gerba, executive committee member of Ethiopia’s main opposition coalition, Medrek, and deputy chairman of the Oromo Federal Democratic Movement (OFDM), internationally recognized artist, Mr. Debebe Eshetu; along with the famous journalist Eskinder Nega and other members of UDJ, on September 14, 2011, on charges of terrorism is a thoughtless escalation of the ongoing repressive measures by the regime of Meles Zenawi. The regime has chosen this ill-conceived and misguided scheme in its desperate last act to bring the Ethiopian people into complete submission and avert an impending public upheaval in the country due to the raging hyperinflation, widespread hunger, and famine. We, supporters of UDJ and the Ethiopian people at large, believe that all individuals, including leaders of Medrek, the larger coalition in which UDJ is a member, are being rounded up and sent to prison for no reason other than holding different political views from the regime and expressing them publicly.
Andinet North America Association of Support organization (ANAASO) condemns these atrocious actions of the regime and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all of these political prisoners. The regime of Meles Zenawi has to understand that criminalizing political opposition and dissent cannot solve the myriad of problems created by its misguided policies.
ANAASO also calls on Ethiopians both at home and in Diaspora to come together and stop this gross injustice on our people, political leaders and journalists that are currently being subjected to inhuman treatment by Meles Zenawi’s tyrannical regime.
We also call on the international community, particularly the donor countries, to condemn these barbaric actions and review their policies toward Ethiopia.
Andinet North America Association of Support Organization