Washington Update

February 9th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

By Mesfin Mekonen :Washington DC – It has been over eighteen months since mass arrests of Ethiopian citizens for publicly expressing their dissatisfaction with and opposition to the Meles regime. The release of these innocent people has been rumored for many months but still they still languish in misery in disease-ridden prisons. Our first priority must be helping these political prisoners, Journalists and civic group. We need to keep reminding the international community, the media, and Congress of the necessity to get the political prisoners freed.The prospects for getting legislation enacted this that will commit the U.S. government to supporting human rights and civil society in Ethiopia are good. A new version of HR5680 will be introduced in the House soon.

It will be a bipartisan bill, and with a sufficient demonstration of
commitment from the Ethiopian community, it could be enacted. The battle in the Senate will be more difficult, but if the House acts, it should be possible to achieve victory in the Senate as well.

As soon as legislation is introduced, it will be critically important to
launch a vigorous advocacy campaign.

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