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A Call for the UN Human Rights Council to Create a Commission of Inquiry for Oromia State/Ethiopia December 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooHuman rights League of the Horn of Africa

HRLHA: A Call for the UN Human Rights Council to Create a Commission of Inquiry for Oromia Regional State/Ethiopia

 

Dec 24, 2015

Shocked and grieved by the unprecedented tyrannical actions and gross human rights violations perpetrated by the Ethiopian Government against the Oromo Nation in the past twenty five years, since the present government came into power in1991;

Condemning the recent deadly violence against Oromo peaceful demonstrators staged against the so called “Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan”- violence that has already claimed more than 200 lives including, children and senior citizens in December 2015 alone with more than 50,000 imprisoned;

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of person, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of peaceful demonstration and assembly,

Recalling further that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary arrest and detention,

The HRLHA calls on the United Nations Human Rights Council:

  • to create an international commission of inquiry to investigate the recent alleged serious violations of international customary law and international human rights law by the Ethiopian Government
  • to request the UN Commissioner of Human Rights to dispatch a mission to Oromia Regional State/Ethiopia immediately to investigate the alleged violations

In the meantime, the HRLHA calls upon the UN Human Rights Council to use its mandate to put pressure on the Ethiopian Government:

  • to immediately bring the “Agazi” paramilitary members who cold-bloodedly attacked the peaceful demonstrators to justice
  • to unconditionally free all  Oromo prisoners of conscience and  others arbitrarily detained, including those held before for no reason and  during the peaceful protests of April-March 2014 and November – December 2015 against the ” Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan “
  • to refrain from reprisals against Oromos who have taken part in peaceful demonstrations

Background Reports:

The Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government’s gross human rights abuses against the Oromo Nation in the past 25 years have been widely reported by domestic, regional and international human rights organizations and international media including Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty (AI), the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA)[1], the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and others.

 

Human Rights League of the H. O. Africa background report, Human Rights violations against Oromo people in Ethiopia

[1]http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14287
http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14668
http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=15430
http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=15667

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Members of U.S. Congress write to Secretary of State Kerry on #OromoProtests in Ethiopia December 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooRepresenting Minnesotaoromoprotests-tweet-and-share1

Stop killing Oromo StudentsAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015

Members of U.S. Congress write to Secretary of State Kerry on Oromo Protests in Ethiopia

 #‎OromoProtests‬ US Congress Members Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum & Tom Emmer write letter to U.S. Department of State. Page1#‎OromoProtests‬ US Congress Members Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum & Tom Emmer write letter to U.S. Department of State

The following is a letter written by members of the U.S. Congress: Reps. Keith Ellison (MN), Betty McCollum (MN) and Tom Emmer (MN), to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 24th, 2015

Ellison, McCollum, Emmer Send Letter to Secretary of State Kerry Regarding Protests in Ethiopia

WASHINGTON DC – Reps. Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, and Tom Emmer sent the following letter to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the student protests in the Oromia region of Ethiopia calling for stronger action against human rights violations:

December 23, 2015

The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:

We are writing in regards to the recent student protests in the Oromia region of Ethiopia that have erupted in response to the Ethiopian government’s Master Plan to expand Addis Ababa into surrounding farmland. Minnesota is home to the largest Oromo population in the United States and we have been contacted by hundreds of constituents concerned about the violence and intimidation these protesters have faced from government security forces. We would like to commend you for condemning the recent killings and violence against peaceful Oromo protesters. However, our constituents feel that stronger action is required to address the deteriorating human rights situation in the region.

The United States and Ethiopia have shared a long, fruitful relationship and are partners on a number of issues important to the region. This ongoing relationship, coupled with the extensive foreign assistance that the United States provides Ethiopia each year, should be used to leverage the United States’ position that inclusive democracy be practiced in Ethiopia.

Numerous reports from organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Committee on the Protection of Journalists have revealed the growing practice of government security forces using arbitrary arrests and prosecution to silence journalists and Ethiopian citizens who are simply exercising freedom of expression—a fundamental right and the cornerstone of a democratic society. These individuals are often charged under the draconian 2009 anti-terrorism proclamation. The continued mistreatment and displacement of the Oromo ethnic group in the Oromia region is especially troubling. Furthermore, the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO law), enacted in 2009, has made it nearly impossible for non-profits to operate in Ethiopia.

Similar protests last year left dozens of Oromos dead and hundreds arrested. This year, there have already been five officially recorded deaths, although constituents close to the issue have informed us the true number of deaths is much higher with a death toll of at least 75. Recently, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that authorities “will take merciless legitimate action against any force bent on destabilizing the area.” This aggressive approach to peaceful protesters is cause for major concern by the United States and we therefore urge you to engage the Ethiopian leadership in a serious dialogue in order to prevent further loss of life and to ensure that Ethiopia is adhering to democratic principles.

The United States Congress has already sent a strong message regarding Ethiopia’s response to protests. The 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill has provisions to ensure that the U.S. funding to Ethiopia cannot be used to support forced evictions in the country. Furthermore, the bill requires U.S. assistance to be used to support local community initiatives aimed at improving livelihoods and be subject to prior consultation with affected populations. The bill also opposes U.S. funding to international financial institutions such as the World Bank for programs that could lead to forced evictions in Ethiopia.

We respectfully ask you to conduct a full, thorough review of this ongoing situation. We cannot look the other way when our allies are violating the human rights of their citizens. If during your investigation you find violations of the Leahy Law, we ask that you respond by taking appropriate action. Thank you for your attention to this important human rights matter.

Sincerely,

Keith Ellison
Member of Congress

Betty McCollum
Member of Congress

Tom Emmer
Member of Congress

Cc: Susan Rice, National Security Advisor, White House
Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to United Nations
Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee, United States House of Representatives
Congressman Elliot Engel, Ranking member of Foreign Affairs Committee, United States House of Representatives

http://ellison.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/ellison-mccollum-emmer-send-letter-to-secretary-of-state-kerry-regarding

Atrocities by the Ethiopian Security forces exasperates in Oromia December 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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???????????#OromoProtests @Finfinnee (AAU) over kidnapping of two female students. Their name is Lomitu Waqbulcho ( 3rd year Afan Oromo & Hirut Tule (2nd year Chemical Engineering). 18 December 2015#OromoPRotests tweet and share

Hawi Tazara , our sister, our music, our famous Oromo artistAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015

The Ethiopian government security forces atrocities has continued throughout the Oromia region. Now, the whole Oromia region is under the control of the government army. The security forces are raping children and women ; beating, torturing and maiming thousands of people in the region. They are jailing Oromo singers, human right activists and university lecturers .Recently, Hawi Tezera, a renowned Oromo singer was beaten by the federal police and taken to jail for releasing a single album that resists the Master Plan and the killings of Oromo students by the government military forces in Oromia region during the peaceful protests that took place in the region opposing the Addis Abeba and Oromia Special Zone Integrated Master Plan that aims to expand the capital city to areas in the Oromia region.Hailu Adugna, a lecturer at Haramaya University and social media activist was taken by security forces from the class he was teaching and his whereabouts is not still known. He was targeted because he wrote on the social media opposing government forces brutal treatment of the peaceful protesters. Another social media activist detained by the security forces is, Girma Gemedi, who is known among the Oromo youths for boldly writing and speaking against the human right violations of the Oromo people by the Ethiopian government.Thousands of Oromo youths are behind bars for taking part in the peaceful protests that lasted for more than a month in every corner of Oromia region. In an interview on the national television, the Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn vowed to take ‘merciless action’ against the peaceful protesters saying that the protesters are ‘terrorists’. This rethoric by the prime minister shows that the Ethiopian government’s commitment to is use the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2009 to crush the peaceful protesters and silence dissents.

Source: Atrocities by the Ethiopian Security forces exasperates in Oromia

Oromia: Famous Oromo female singer Hawi Tezera feared to be under another torture, activists say. #OromoProtests December 24, 2015

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???????????#OromoProtests of 7 December 2015

Stop TortureStop killing Oromo Students

Famous Oromo female singer Hawi Tezera feared to be under another torture, activists say

Release Hawi, our sister, our music, our famous artistHawi Tazara , our sister, our music, our famous Oromo artist

(December 23, 2015, Finfinne Tribune, Gadaa.com ): According to a media report, the famous Oromo female singer Hawi Tezera was detained and tortured last week by the Ethiopian Federal police after releasing an Afan Oromo single music that’s critical of the Ethiopian government’s affairs, i.e. the Master Plan and the killings following the protests against the Master Plan, in the Federal State of Oromia. The single, which was released on December 15, 2015, was produced using the traditional Oromo protest genre called Geerarsa. Photos of the singer’s tortured body, showing the bruised and swollen areas, are shown here.Report shows Hawi Tezera’s bruised and swollen body from last week’s torture; activists fear she could be tortured again.

Upon the intervention of the Oromian State police, the report adds, Hawi was released from her ordeal only to be imprisoned again over the last few days. Activists fear that she could be tortured again; the Ethiopian government has a record of detaining and torturing dissidents (prisoners of conscience) who oppose its policies using peaceful and Constitutional means.

In addition to Hawi, thousands of Oromos, including a journalist, have been imprisoned across Oromia and Ethiopia over the last week – accused of expressing protests against the Addis Ababa Master Plan. According to the protesters, who are using peaceful (nonviolent) means to demonstrate their opposition, millions of Oromo farmers will be evicted from their homesteads, and thousands have already been evicted and have become homeless, through the government’s large-scale land-grab project called the Addis Ababa Master Plan. During the recent wave of arrests, the government has especially targeted Oromo singers and their families/relatives for imprisonment and harassment. It is to be remembered that Oromo male singers Jireenyaa Shifarraa and Bilisummaa Dinquu were reportedly abducted last week by the government forces – after being accused of releasing music that’s critical of the government’s policy in Oromia; photos of Jireenyaa Shifarraa in handcuffs were circulating on social media last week. Read more at:-

http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2015/12/famous-oromo-female-singer-hawi-tezera-feared-to-be-under-another-torture-activists-say/

DW: Oromia: #OromoProtests set to continue in Ethiopia December 24, 2015

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???????????#OromoPRotests tweet and share

Oromo protests set to continue in Ethiopia

In an interview with DW, a spokesman of the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum accused the government of abusing the country’s constitution with its plans to expand the capital Addis Ababa.

OromoProtests set to continue

Violence and chaos gripped Ethiopia this week as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in protest against government plans to expand the capital Addis Ababa. Human Rights Watch said at least 75 people were killed in a bloody crackdown by heavily armed security forces. The demonstrations have spread to several towns since November, when students spoke out against plans to expand the capital into Oromia territory, a move the Oromo people consider a land grab. DW spoke to Merara Gundina, chairman of the opposition Oromo Federal Congress, in Addis Ababa.

DW: What exactly are you demonstrating against?

Merara Gundina: The Addis Ababa Master Plan is part of a larger land grab by the Ethiopian government around Addis Ababa, which has displaced not less than 200,000 people. Secondly, under federalism all the boundaries are being eroded by the ruling party which is bent on taking the land. People are very angry with the government and people who wanted to see change are frustrated.

Under the Ethiopian constitution all land belongs to the state, with people living there legally considered tenants. Doesn’t this allow the government to carry out any developments that may serve the interests of all Ethiopians?

No, no, the government is misusing it. The constitution says the land belongs to the public so it doesn’t allow the government simply to tell the people “go away” and it takes the land. No, it says there are bonds of state in the name of the people and there are individuals owning the land. It is the ruling party that is misusing the constitution. In fact, the state itself is privatising the country.

We understand you have vowed to continue the demonstrations despite the killings and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn declared on television that the government would act without mercy. Is it not better to solve these issues through talks?

We continue to support the cause of our people. We continue our peaceful struggle. We cannot be intimidated as the government has done. We have popular support, we have millions of people behind us. The government cannot silence us easily. We are following the constitution but we are against the arbitrary misuse of the constitution by the ruling party. Our people will continue.

Is it true that your organization is getting support from outsiders?

The diaspora is far away. It’s school kids, high schools and universities and the government is simply accusing the left and the right. Probably the diaspora is very active in the media because the local media are totally controlled by the government. We have no access to the media and the diaspora have some media outlets and they report what is happening in the country. But a diaspora of a few thousand cannot move millions of people.

http://www.dw.com/en/oromo-protests-set-to-continue-in-ethiopia/a-18937401?maca=en-Twitter-sharing

 

Related:-

 

VOA: Ethiopia’s Oromos Tread Warily Amid Anti-government Protests

Ethiopian migrants, all members of the Oromo community of Ethiopia living in Malta, protest in Valletta against the Ethiopian regime's plan to evict Oromo farmers to expand Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, Dec. 21, 2015.

Ethiopian migrants, all members of the Oromo community of Ethiopia living in Malta, protest in Valletta against the Ethiopian regime’s plan to evict Oromo farmers to expand Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, Dec. 21, 2015.

Marthe van der Wolf, December 23, 2015 3:22 PM
Schools are closed, businesses have just reopened after being closed for almost a week, and there is tension in Ginchi, Ethiopia, one of the first towns where the Oromo people began protesting last month against a plan to expand the capital, Addis Ababa.

Police are on the main road in Ginchi, which is about 80 kilometers west of Addis Ababa. Interviews have to be conducted on the basis of anonymity and on the outskirts of the town.

A waitress says that despite the reopening of the cafe where she works, life is not back to normal yet: She says that there is not an official curfew, but that young people risk being randomly detained if they are out in the evening.

The most recent protest in Ginchi was last weekend, after a funeral. Citizens said security forces killed three people before the protest took place.

The Addis Ababa master plan is a blueprint to expand the capital into the Oromiya region. The protesters believe that the expansion will lead to land grabs without proper compensation and a loss of the Oromo culture and language.

A shop owner, who participated in the protests, says those who created the master plan do not understand that life is tough and that people like him will not benefit from the promised development. He says there is no benefit for the people to have outside investors who take their land.

Established in 1991

The Oromiya region was established when the current government came to power in 1991. The federal system was divided along ethnic lines. The Oromos are the largest ethnic group in the country.

Bekele Gerba, leader of the opposition Oromo Federal Congress, lives in Adama, the former capital of the Oromiya region. The city, about 60 kilometers south of Addis Ababa, has also seen protests in recent weeks.

Gerba says Oromos have never been treated like equals by Ethiopia’s leaders, but he believes the current government is the worst.

“The ruling classes, usually, they think that Oromo is a threat,” he said. ” ‘One day they can overwhelm us. Therefore, they have to be treated in such a way so that they won’t have any power.’ Therefore, for example, we don’t have any power in the military. All the military commanders belong to a different ethnic group.”

Gerba’s party says more than 75 people have died since the protests began, and that many of his party members have been detained. Rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch say the government is using “excessive lethal force” on the protesters.

A government spokesman, Getachew Reda, told VOA on Wednesday that security forces had exercised restraint, “even under circumstances where they found themselves overwhelmed.”

http://www.voanews.com/content/ethiopia-oromos-tread-warily-amid-anti-government-protests/3116002.html

 

FP: Revolt in an African Stasi State

 

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/12/23/revolt-in-an-african-stasi-state/

 

Daily Mail: Ethiopia opposition: 80 killed in protests against land plan

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3372090/Ethiopia-opposition-80-killed-protests-against-land-plan.html#ixzz3vCWG0CDp