Hon Bob Rae to Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs on Mrs. Birtukan’s Arrest – Bob Rae

February 7th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Dear Minister Cannon

I write to you in support of the Kinijit Organization for Human Rights and Democracy, along with many other organizations, in calling for the safe release of Mrs. Birtukan Mideksa, chairwoman of the United for Democracy and Justice Party in Ethiopia.

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Dear Minister Cannon

I write to you in support of the Kinijit Organization for Human Rights and Democracy, along with many other organizations, in calling for the safe release of Mrs. Birtukan Mideksa, chairwoman of the United for Democracy and Justice Party in Ethiopia.

According to UN sources, Ms. Mideksa was arrested on December 29, 2008 by security forces and is still held without charge and in solitary confinement in a prison outside Addis Ababa. In your letter response to an email dated January 7th, you wrote “Canada continues to closely monitor the situation in Ethiopia, and maintains a commitment to the development of a strong democracy.“ Minister Cannon, that is not enough.

I ask you as Canada’s Foreign Minister, and the official Canadian voice to the international community, to call for her immediate release. Ethiopia is signatory to the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, a commitment which clearly prohibits torture and other cruel, and degrading treatment.

In this case, the Ethiopian government has shown disregard for their commitments to international law. The Ethiopian government’s continued practice of detainment without, trial and harsh domestic repression is both illegal and immoral. I urge you to take action on this issue and speak out on behalf of all Canadians.

Sincerely,
Hon Bob Rae

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