Open letter on the Situation in Ethiopian
A threat to democracy anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere!
Ethiopia must receive the clear message from its western allies like the Federal Government of German
President Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Union
Avenue du Bourget no 1
The Ethiopian economy might have registered a high rate of growth in recent years, but Ethiopian still remains dependent on international aid to feed its people and the benefits of growth have never trickled down to its ordinary citizens. To add insult to injury Ethiopians live behind an iron curtain of repression and gross violation of human rights.
Since it came to power over 21 years ago, there was no facet of an Ethiopian citizen’s life that has not been affected by the authoritarian brutal regime of the Democratic Revolutionary Front (EPRDF) but led by the Tigre People Liberation Front (TPLF). Ethiopia is ruled by a brutal ethno-centric regiem intent to commit henious crimes against its people, where extreme political repression and deprivation of basic human rights are are common place.
Ethiopia is signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948, and elements of the declaration are incorporated in the Ethiopian constitution but the regime is never abided or stood by it. Rather used it as a means to face-lift its image thereby deceiving the international community.
The government in Ethiopia is an authoritarian regime responsible for the massacre, disappearance and imprisonment of tens of thousands members of innocent citizens who asked for basic civil and human rights. Thousands of supporters of opposition parties, journalists, religious leaders who demand their basic civil rights have been incarcerated and mostly subject to torture.
The State Department Report of 2012 noted that “The most significant human rights problems included restrictions on freedom of expression and association through politically motivated trials and convictions of opposition political figures, activists, journalists, and bloggers. The government continued restrictions on civil society and nongovernmental organization (NGO) activities imposed by the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO).
Other human rights problems included arbitrary killings; allegations of torture, beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees by security forces; detention without charge and lengthy pre-trial detention; a weak, overburdened judiciary subject to political influence; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights, government interference in religious affairs and impunity”.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) on its 2012 issue also noted, “Ethiopian authorities continued to severely restrict basic rights of freedom of expression, association, and assembly in 2012. Thirty journalists and opposition members were convicted under the country’s vague Anti-Terrorism Proclamation of 2009.The Ethiopian government uses its vague anti-terror law to restrict freedom of expression and crush peaceful dissent“
Dr.Gregory Stanton, the founding President of Genocide Watch noted that the regime in Ethiopia has committed genocide and compared it to that Syria where the Alawait minority government has been unleashing against the majority to stay on power. Some of the atrocities committed by the EPRDF/TPLF regime over the last two decades include:
the massacre of over 70 Sidamas in Sidamo in early 2001
the genocide of over 720 Anuaks in Gambela in 2003
the massacre of over 193 innocent Citizens after 2005 general election.
burning alive of thousands of Ogaden Somali Ethiopians.
killing, torture and disappearance of thousands of Oromos, Amharas, Sidamas, Afars and Ogaden Somalis.
forced off land indigenous inhabitants and farmers without compensation in order to lease to wealthy foreign nationals for next to nothing leading to environmental degradation,
death and imprisonment of religious leaders of both Christian and Muslims.
The recent ongoing ethnic cleansing on Amhara nationalities from different parts of the country.
Although the head of the dictatorial regime Mr. Meles Zenawi passed away in July 2012, however, the new Prime Minister Mr. Hailemariam Dessalegn sadly squandered the opportunity to bring an inclusive political change and vowed to continue the Legacy of Mr. Zenawi – political repression, killings and imprisoning continues.
Ethiopia receives around $3 billion dollars in long-term development aid each year this is more than a third of the country’s total annual budget. There is sufficient evidence that funds and resources donated to support the needy, in the hands of the ruling regiem are used for political purposes and to finance repression. HRW states in DWF, “the Ethiopian government is using development aid as a tool of political repression by conditioning access to essential government services on support for the ruling party.”
While donors interests are best served by supporting aspiration of the Ethiopian people for democracy it appears that western governments have turned a blind eye to the repression of civil and political rights and a deaf ear to the cries of the many for justice and freedom.
The values of freedom and democracy the British people live by and promote will count for nothing if you don’t question why a regime heavily dependent on foreign aid and assistance of the British Government and the European Union uses emergency food aid as a political weapon. I therefore ask you to;
Ethiopian Civic and political organisaions living around the world, know that you and your government dearly value the issues of human rights, justice, and freedom expression. Owing to the worsening political and human rights situation in their home land Ethiopia , members of a wide network of political and civil organization operating in Federal Republic of Germany ask their Government to demand :-
The ruling regime in Ethiopia cease all politically motivated arrests immediately.
All political prisoners must be released without any preconditions.
Development and emergency aid to are not used for political purposes.
the regime meet international human rights standards,
The regime stop an ethnic cleansing in general and eviction of Amharic language speaking innocent Ethiopians from southern and Benishangul Gumuz regions in particular,
Stop use of the so cold “anti-terrorism law” to silence dissent and stifle freedom of expression,
Perpetrators of crimes against humanity are brought in front to the International Criminal Court
Applicants (Sponsoring organizations)
We whose names appear below are the members of the Political and Civic organizations, Support groups and Religious organizations in the Federal Republic of Germany
1. Andinet Unterstützungsverein München e.V.
2. Andinet Unterstützungsverein Nürnberg e.V.
3. Ethiopian Relief und Development Organization in Deutschland e.V.
4. Äthiopischer Fürsorge Verein München e.V.
5. Äthiopischer Kultur Verein München e.V.
6. Äthiopischer Kulturverein Nürnberg e.V.
7. Heilige Jungfrau Maria Äthiopische Orthodoxe Tewahedo-Kirche im Exil in München e.V.
8. Äthiopisch-orthodoxe Tewahedo Kirche in Deuts.Lideta le Mariam e.V.
9. Bilal Al Habesha e.V.
10. St.Michael Äthiopische Orthodoxe Tewahdo Kirche im Exil in Darmstadt e.V.
11. Meskaye Hizunan Medhanealem Exil Kirche Diözese Deutschland e.V.
12. St.Kidane Mihret Äthiopische Orthodoxe- Tewahedo Kirche Exilgemeinde in Wiesbaden e.V.
H.E.Martin Schulz,President of the European Parliament
H.E. Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the European Union
H.E. Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis
H.E. Jean-Francois Julliard, Secretary General, Reporters without Borders
H.E. Stephen Corry, Executive Director, Survival international
H.E.Kenneth Roath, Executive Director, Human Rights Watc
H.E. David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Andenet Munich e.V.