February 19th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

A vibrant fund raising evening | February 17th, 2007

DC Metro The Ethiopian community once again stepped up to the plate in response to Kinijit DC Metro Support Chapter’s call to raise fund for families of incarcerated prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia. The fund raising event, which is one of several programs the community participated in to secure the release of political prisoners, is part of the global campaign, organized by Kinijit International and Kinijit support chapters.

Hundreds showed up at Arlington’s Comfort Inn/ Best Western hotel and hundreds more who were unable to attend due to scheduling conflict bought tickets and sent donations. Every round table was named after one of the prisoners of conscience and had a framed picture as a centerpiece. The event program, which was distributed at the beginning, promised a well scripted evening. Shambel Belayneh, the artist and human rights activist entertained the crowd with his tasteful music and penetrating lyrics.

The highlight of the evening was a DVD presentation especially prepared for the occasion by Abugida Television www.abugidainfo.com of Boston, featuring Dr. Yacob H/Mariam’s letter to the Ethiopian people. This historical document was narrated against the backdrop of amazing film clippings and rare picture collections that underscored the history of bloody power transitions in Ethiopia and how the genocide and treason charge against the political prisoners is, shortsighted and shameful. The silence that downed over the crowd at this incredibly powerful presentation was of a rare kind.

Dr. Moges G/Mariam and Ato Berhane Mewa of Kinijit International and Ato Yilma Adamu of Kinijit DC-Metro Support Chapter addressed the gathering. They emphasized on the need to persevere in the peaceful struggle, to continue lobbying on behalf of Kinijit and its leaders, to cherish their role as activists of democracy and human rights.
$25 thousand was raised.

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