Police Brutally Attack Peaceful Protesters in Addis Ababa ahead of National Election

January 27th, 2015 Print Print Email Email

Police brutally attacked and dispersed peaceful demonstrators in the capital Addis Ababa on Sunday as they try to protest against the ongoing government repression on opposition political parties and dissents in run-up to the countries general election..

Political activists say the Sunday’s attack against the peaceful demonstrators is further evidence of the authorities’ determination to clamp down the activities of opposition political parties ahead of up-coming elections.

In this latest brutal attack against peaceful protesters, dozens of members and supporters of Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ) were seriously injured. The incident is the most blatant and massive case of non-lethal police brutality in Ethiopia.

According to reports, demonstrators were brutally beaten with baton, stick and iron rod in the head, face, hands, and legs. One of the victims is said to have been a pregnant woman. Reports show the victims were taken to hospital right away, and some of them are still receiving a medical treatment.

Among seriously injured was Sileshi Hagose, the member of the general assembly of the party and editor in chief of a news paper. Recently released photographs show that he was wonded in the face and head, and his both hands were seriously broken.

UDJ is the main opposition political party struggling in the narrowing political landscape in Ethiopia and is one of the few parties working at national level with an inclusive structure by bringing different ethnic groups all together.

Reports show in the past few weeks the party has been struggling with the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) over the case of an internal faction that is accusing the party of violating its laws.

The party claims that the faction is consisted of double agents working for the ruling party, and accuses the NEBE of fuelling the problem and using the allegation of the faction as a tactic to tackle the party in favor of the government. And one of the objectives of Sunday’s demonstration was to protest against this what the party calls “government plot.”

The Sunday’s brutal attack is the latest in a serious of similar measures against peaceful demonstrators in Ethiopia. For instance, on 6 December 2014 several people were beaten during attempts to stage a demonstration by a coalition of nine opposition political parties.

Amnesty international reported that the nine-party coalition had been attempting “to stage a demonstration as the culmination of a series of activities calling for a free and fair election.”

The group also says in a report that holding an election rally is now totally impossible as government continue to reject applications for such events and keep its brutal attack against those trying to held.

According to the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), the election will be held on May 23 across the country.

Escalating Crackdown

As the election approaches, the ruling party is intensifying its crackdown on opposition political parties and independent voices. Many claim a fair election cannot be held under the current situation in which the ruling party is violating electoral laws of the country.

In 2014 only, several opposition leaders, Journalists, bloggers, and Human Right activists were arrested with numerous publications of the free press closed. More than 30 journalists were also forced to flee the country.

Activists said at least 12 key and outspoken opposition political leaders, 6 journalists, 6 bloggers, and 2 political activists had been jailed in the capital Addis Ababa only under fabricated terrorism charges.

The ongoing crackdown has included independent civic associations that could play an important role in the upcoming election. Reports shows in 2014 two civic associations were targeted in orchestrated false accusations.

This wide array of measure, which is getting increasingly worrying, is said by oppositions to be calculated to deter challenges and eliminate the scope for the mildest expressions of opposition.

The Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has been on power since 1991, and 4 general elections have been held in the past 23 years. Yet, all those elections were abused, and failed to meet the international standards.

  1. Biniam
    | #1

    Compared to how Mengistu Hailemariam attacked Ethiopian youth killing us throwing the bodies on the streets like a dog this incident could not be called an attack, just a minor altercation between the police and few protestors.Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian-born British resident, spent four years at the U.S. detention compound at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after confessing to plotting terrorism. Mohamed told the war crimes tribunal at Guantanamo that he confessed to crimes he didn’t commit because he was tortured during his CIA detention, including having his genitals sliced with a scalpel while the Ethiopian government continue selling Ethiopians to middle East as domestic workers and the once that don’t want to go get minor disagreements in their country.

  2. yele
    | #2

    http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21377

    We need to get stressed the need for diasporas to act in writing to write their politicians rather than just protesting outside the POLITICIANS offices AND EMBASSIES.
    1 LATER IS BETTER THAN 100 PEOPLE CHANTING.
    UK government refused to intervene for citizen rendered to Ethiopia.
    The Ethiopian government is imprisoning even foreigners without noone intervening.
    It has emerged that the Foreign Secretary refused to contact the Ethiopian government to protest its abduction of a UK citizen, despite warnings from Foreign Office (FCO) staff that the man was at risk of execution.
    Andargachew ‘Andy’ Tsege, a father of three from London, was abducted in Yemen and rendered to Ethiopia seven months ago. Mr Tsege, who is a prominent critic of the Ethiopian government, remains in incommunicado detention. The Ethiopian government has refused to reveal his whereabouts, or confirm whether it plans to carry out a death sentence imposed in absentia in 2009. ( http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20745 )

  3. Solomon Gashaw
    | #3

    THANKS GOD! WE HAVE DEMOCRATIC ELECTION IN ETHIOPIA.

    This an election time, we should expect lies and more exaggerated propaganda like this one every time you turn on your PC.
    Only those who are foolish and unpragmatic people expect 100% perfect and smooth election without losers protest or attempt to distract the process of election. The truth is we Ethiopians were greatful that the election is taking its course as planned.

  4. kaqim
    | #4

    Many years ago, and now, in 1991 the enemy has launched all sorts of wars against our country and people knowing it will finally be defeated, like the enemies before it were defeated, to its deep fear, for sure it will be crushed to its eternity. Today, the enemy is more paranoid than it was before it came into Ethiopia uninvited with a lot of guns and bullets to loot and murder Ethiopians. There are actually good reasons for the enemy to go nut because Ethiopians as they did in 2005, they will vote out the enemy from the lands it occupied by force. All Ethiopians in their lands will face the enemy face-to-face and battle it tooth and nail until it is crushed to its eternal death.

  5. vilkaki
    | #5

    we all Ethiopians condemn the brutality of the regime on demonstrators that the regime believed would take it to victory over the voters. In contrast to that the people of Ethiopia have been attentively watching, observing, and recording the unlawfulness of the regime thereby making up their mind and directing their attention to the inevitable victory that they will gain over the fascist regime no matter how the regime tries illegal and fascist acts it follows and impose on the country and the people.

    Victory over the fascist regime is inevitable!

    Shame and lose to the fascists!!!

  6. Ye Gonder Jegna
    | #6

    @ Solomon Gashaw,

    I understand your point and it is well taken, however the problem is there is no logically authentic strong opposition political party in Ethiopia that is convincing to Ethiopians mass, what we have in Ethiopia is fragmented illogical opposition parties with no strong base or convincing socioeconomic plat form that is acceptable to the mass as EPRDF does. What drives and makes EPRDF acceptable among Ethiopians mass is that for the past 15 years that the Ethiopia’s economy had shown exponential double degit economic growth and poverty is in decline within the country, according world bank’s latest report this month, poverty had declined by 33% since year of 2001. This is also the main reason that I am 100% convinced that EPRDF had won the heart of Ethiopia’s mass and will win the election with more seat in the parliament.

  7. Mezmur
    | #7

    Selective partial Accusation and political litigation is normal process during election, specially in young democracy as Ethiopia, the most important part is that we Ethiopians still practicing our democratic rights through ballot not bullet.

  8. Darewos
    | #8

    To the weyanne or hodam Biniam,
    Your late ethnic chief and paymaster Meles Zenawi had once said `we (the TPLF) do not kill, throw and display the victims in the streets`. This statement of your chief says a lot. The TPLF is also a killing machine but carries out the elimination of its opponents in a secretive and systematic manners. If the TPLF displays the bodies of its victims in the streets as Colonel Mengistu did,it will lose aid money from its western donors. Therefor, both the TPLF and Derge are brutal killers, the difference is that the latter had not picked up its victims on the bases of their ethnic origins.

  9. Gegnaw
    | #9

    The time has come for all Ethiopians to take charge of the situation. It means we have to involve in every activity to up root these spineless coward TPLFs from the face of Ethiopia. They are fatten themselves with looted money they think they will continue to plunder till the end of time. Time is up and they will find out soon .

  10. Addisu
    | #10

    WE HAVE NO MASS STARVATION, WE HAVE NO CIVIL WAR AS WE ETHIOPIANS USED TO PRIOR TO EPRDF LEADERSHIP. WHAT WE HAVE IN ETHIOPIA TODAY IS FREE ELECTION AND UNPRECDENTED ECONOMIC ADVANCEMENT.

  11. Densa
    | #11

    Forget about what TPLF cadres and their forgery about our history are saying in here. The fact of the matter is the Ethiopian public have put the TPLF leaders back against the wall. It is admitted fact if there is an open election take place in Ethiopia the ordinary shiftas cannot escape but face defeat. If there is an open election what else can we expect for the bandits but defeat. TPLF starts her organizing campaign through an invented lies by her core leaders. They have done nothing new but multiply their lies and cunnings for the last 40 years, and that even at the expense of the Ethiopian new generation. They have a very simple proposition. And that proposition is this: The TPLF illogical world accepts always 2+2 to be equal with 5. That is all what it takes,if they repeat their endless lies as long as they live they believe they will succeed convincing the rest of us that they have been all along right.

    It is a readily accepted fact that all opposition parties without exception are the most rational element of the Ethiopian society in comparison with that of TPLF leaders.it is for this reason we need to set aside our differences, ignore the divisive tactic of TPLF, unite on our common values of humanity and nation hood and avert the impending danger. The people of Ethiopia are fully responsible to bring about the orderly needed political change.

    Commentators #1, 3, and 7 respectively are individuals who lost their decency and their habit and nasty behavior in non- beneficial for future Ethiopia. These lunatics who call themselves as “Biniam, Solomon Gashaw, yegonder jegna” are in direct variant to the characters we are accustomed .The so called “yegonder jegna’ we know he is not what he said he is because he can not even spell the name Gondar correctly. These are people who suffer from a TPLF group sycophant. The dictioanry says of them [self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite.]

    Abugida, please you need to consider to cut and mutilate the nasty and time consuming gibberish by these paid cadres.We are paying heavy causality for our freedom and this forum need not to be dedicated to TPLF cadres that can not be reformed.

  12. Bulti
    | #12

    The TPLF has been maintaining its grp on Power through violence and this attack on the peaceful demonstrators is not new. The false hope and believe that the TPLF controlled and staged elections can bring change in Ethiopia are dead and buried. The so called opposition should be clearly told and advised to stop their pretention and returrn their party Licenses to the TPLF and disband.

  13. Docho
    | #13

    The TPLF regime is ungrateful in hitting the peaceful opposition. This opposition has helped the TPLF to collect more aid from the west. That is why the TPLF according to its former official Ermias Legesse calls the oppositiom (Beyene and Merara)candies.

  14. dolnika
    | #14

    We must be careful to not slow down our tooth and nail fight against the enemy by giving the enemy space to breath or gasp for air when the enemy knows it is on the edge of its fate rolling down to its death. The enemy can do anything against our country and people in order to meet the goal it had set years before it came into our country. We must more than vigilant on both the clandestine and open destructive activities of the enemy of ours and everybody else’s.

    Let’s not slow down our intensified battle to defeat even for a minute and when the enemy is in panic, we can easily crush this stubborn cancerous enemy to its final death.

  15. gdibouk
    | #15

    There is therefore only one way we can save our country and take our people to glory and victory. To defeat the enemy.

    To be more explicit, Ethiopians will definitely eliminate the enemy as they were enemies of all sorts before this one. This one, it is the enemy that you have been knowing it for years that you, all Ethiopians thought lethal and extremely distractive in many forms and shapes. We have been telling the enemy that what had happened to the likes the enemy that in clandestine and in public partnered with in attacking our country from afar or in proximity, that again we told the enemy that it is playing with volcanic fire with Ethiopians; but then, the enemy defying our warning it came into our country uninvited with a lot guns and bullets, but deep down its satanic heart it knows, in the end it will have its life culminated in a total death worse than,that the dead robber had.

    Calamities and death to the enemy!!!

  16. uyvik
    | #16

    Statement of Solidarity;

    We, Ethiopians both in the homeland and in the global communities reinforce our collective solidarity in completely crushing the enemy to tenuous dust and then bake it flat until its burnt so that millions of the oppressed and suppressed Ethiopians of all walks of life will walk, then stamp on the dead enemy that has been scattered deadly all over and across our country, poisoning rivers and lakes, murdering citizens, beating activists, imprisoning journalists and human right activists, selling babies, young girls and boys, and women’s of all ages to Arab customers in the middle east and else where.

    Dead or alive the dead robber shall stand trial!!!

    So shall the rest of the living-dead robbers!!!!

    All Ethiopians, keep the faith keep going the struggle against the enemy until itself witness its own death before millions of Ethiopians!!!

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