Washington Update on HR 5680

September 4th, 2006 Print Print Email Email

By Mesfin Mekonen | Sept 3, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC – We are now closing in on a critical stage of our efforts to bring democracy and prosperity to Ethiopia. Between now and the end of September H.R. 5680 will be brought to the floor of the house.

We are sharing our views on pending legislation, H.R. 5680, the Ethiopia Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights Advancement Act. The legislation has attracted bipartisan support in the International Relations Committee. Enactment of the legislation would pressure the Ethiopian government – which has been condemned by the State Department and non-governmental organizations — to respect human rights, release political prisoners, civic activist and journalists.

As you know this is Election time in the United states for its Congress and this is an especially good time to remind our elected officials of our interests in a favorable outcome for this legislation.

You all know the members of Congress need to hear from you. Please visit this Web site and get the contact information that you need. It is essential that all Ethiopians contact members of Congress to express their support for this legislation – ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO HAVEN’T CO-SPONSORED HR 5680 — and to ask that members of Congress co-sponsor and vote for it. Even if you have already contacted Congress, do it again. It is especially important to contact members of the U.S House of Representatives. You can find the contact information to Call and e-mail the Washington offices of your Senators and Representative. Contact your Representative or your Senator.

Human Rights issues are a key objective for us. Human Rights groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Center for Press Journalists, and others are our natural allies in our work. Newspapers, magazines, radio, and television are important but now we will have to compete for space, so if you have any such good contacts please reach out to them now.

In conclusion I should add that this year has been one of hope so far. Let’s keep up the effort so that we can get H.R. 5680 accomplished this session.

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