US concern over Ethiopia opposition arrest – ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AFP)

December 31st, 2008 Print Print Email Email

The U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa Wednesday voiced concern over the fate of an opposition leader who was jailed after her pardon from a life sentence was revoked. (more…)

The U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa Wednesday voiced concern over the fate of an opposition leader who was jailed after her pardon from a life sentence was revoked.

Birtukan Midekssa, head of the Unity for Democracy Justice party, irked the regime when she reportedly claimed during a recent visit to Europe that she had never voiced remorse or acknowledged any mistake to obtain her pardon in 2007.

“The U.S. is concerned about the government of Ethiopia’s arrest of Unity for Democracy and Justice Party leader Birtukan Midekssa,” the embassy’s information officer Darragh Paradiso told AFP.

“We are particularly concerned by reports that Birtukan’s pardon has been revoked and she has begun a life sentence in prison.”

The 35-year-old, who was detained with dozens of opposition figures and supporters in the aftermath of disputed 2005 elections, was last week given a three-day ultimatum by the authorities to confirm or deny the reports.

The justice ministry said Tuesday she had resumed serving her life term.

The U.S., a staunch Ethiopian ally and the country’s top aid contributor, called for more political freedom.

“A vibrant opposition, independent media, and a robust civil society are essential elements of any democracy,” Paradiso said.

“The U.S. looks to the government of Ethiopia to provide the political space necessary for them to function. Steps that appear to criminalize dissent impede progress on democratization,” he added.

Birtukan’s party made its biggest electoral gains in the 2005 polls and cried foul over reported fraud, claiming it was robbed of victory by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s ruling party.

The ensuing unrest left close to 200 civilians dead and drew international condemnation.

  1. Tangut
    | #1

    We excpect alot from USA to inforce the bloody state to respect humanrights in the country .

  2. yikerbelen
    | #2

    The bloody EriTREA’S mecerbnaries wantd that Birtukan to take their crimes,which they killed 200 civilans after melese and his criminal group had stolen the 2005 election victory from CUDP [ UDJP]. Birtukan’s un law full arreted by eritrea’s thugs showed clearly that peacefull struggle with an eritrea’s mecernaries is impossible. The Ethiopia’s people should speed up the armed struggle and eradicate shabians from ethiopia

  3. lema
    | #3

    TPLF has nothing else to do than following opposition leaders every where they go. What a nonesense!

  4. Azeb
    | #4

    “US concern” is a lip service to the Ethiopian people. We should not count on anything coming from the US.

  5. መለስ
    | #5

    ካሜሪካ መንግስት ቁም ነገር መጠበቁ የዋህነት ነው ማለትም መለስ የነሱን ጥቅም ጠባቂ እስከሆነ ድረስ ምንም አያመጡም በተለይ የጆርጅ መንግስት

  6. Sami
    | #6

    Meles is a crazy evil. Every movement bothers him. He is so sick he just can’t stand any thing that looks like opposing him. That is why he puts Teddy Afro and Birtukan and thousands and thousands others in jail. The sad thing is the stupid people that support and work around this son of evils. I never see any normal weyanne who can think rationally and understand the evil work of Meles. Shame on all weyannes!

  7. Dubale
    | #7

    The game is in our hand. We do not care what USA says. Be self dependent and remove Meles zenawi.

  8. Abbi
    | #8

    We immediately have to bring this to the attention of the Obama transiton team. I think this will be one of the chalenges waiting for Obama, with the people of Ethiopia or with Meles, the dectator.

  9. | #9

    I do not expect anything from US.

  10. Almaz
    | #10

    A Woyane Holland meeting Fiasco: A Woyane Ambassador, his TPLF cadres vs concerned Ethiopians (an actual fist fight followed).

  11. gorade
    | #11

    yikerbelen……..what a despicable comment”FEYEL WEDIH,KEZEMZEM WEDYA” ms.Bertukan put in jail by weyanes,not by Eritrians.

  12. | #12

    ውህይ ዲድ ዮኡ አረስት ሀር አንድ ውሃት ዲድ ስሀ ዶ ቶ ዮኡ.

  13. | #13

    if u in the country have democrice why cause did she get arreted.that it show in the country no demcrice and no pace.

    p.s this is not good.

  14. ye hodam/weshetam ager
    | #14

    we have no heroes, sad

    a small thugs terrorizing the whole country,and so called oppostion leaders even can’t call a demonstration.

    the so called shimaglewoch, not even a single one of them cannot tell the whole truth.

    we lack decent, courageous, and truthful people. most of the elites in ethiopia are hodamoch hilina bisoch feriwoch nachew.

  15. Reppi
    | #15

    The US has neither the right nor the moral authority to inetrfer in the inetrnal affairs of Ethiopia.

    The only reason,in my opinoin, we see and hear empty comments like:”US concern over Ethiopia opposition arrest”,is because some of us are actaully asking them to interfer.

    Let us not forget who is sustianing the woyanes existance.

    Eshoken be Eshok andemilu,the only remedy for the parastic woyanes is to get rid of them.

    We should be looking at the whether peaceful resistance is the right tool at this time in Ethiopia’s history..

  16. Teshome S
    | #16

    We all welcome US’s intervention on the case of Birtukan’s re-arrest. The woyanee regime must release her without any preconditions and we are counting on the US government to enforce the the dictator regime to play by the rules of democracy.

  17. SammieAli
    | #17

    the greatest African General –Sebhat Ephrem of Eritrea- When he
    said, “you don’t built a building and not know how to bring it down”. Yes indeed Shabia
    built the rag tag TPLF army from bottom up and it knows how to dismantle it and it is way

    The Meles regime worked tirelessly to forge an alliance among Eritrea’s immediate neighbors to diplomatically isolate and frustrate Eritrea. After few years of fanfare and photo apps, the Yemen-Ethiopia and Sudan alliance faltered. Eritrea has successfully brought Sudan into its fold and its diplomatic relations with Egypt, Libya, Chad, and the Arab world is progressing well. And, now the new strategic alliance with Iran is getting much attention and Eritrea is well prepared to take advantage of this spotlight because for first time, Eritrea’s ne strategic alliance will elucidate Eritrea’s strategic importance and the region and also make the American administration to re-think its policy of shoving Eritrea aside will not bring any dividends to uncle Sam’s national interest. Thanks to those strategic alliances, Eritrean army is no w equipped with MIGS, SU-27s, SAM missiles, Surface to Air missiles, sophisticated tanks, short range missile armed war ships and newly introduced strategic missiles with more than few hundred miles range.

    Weyane & his cadre your time is up.

  18. | #18

    This is the last exam for ethiopians woyanes want to know the what are we waiting for?
    Armed struggle is the only option!

Comments are closed.