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Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Odaa OromooAddis StandardBekele Gerba translated Martin Luther King’s book  ‘I HAVE A DREAM’  into Oromo language while he was in prison.Free Bekele Gerba#OromoProtests in Bosaso, 7 April 2016

#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia


Twenty two defendants, including four missing senior members of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) have appeared at the Federal High Court 19th Criminal Bench this morning. The court adjourned the next hearing, which will be a defense hearing, until May 10th.


Federal prosecutors have charged 22 members of the OFC on Friday April 22nd with several articles of Ethiopia’s infamous Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP). On the same day the court ordered the police to transfer all the 22 detainees from the notorious Ma’ekelawi, where they have been kept incommunicado for most of the last four months, to Qilinto, a prison cell south of the city’s outskirt under the administration of the Addis Abeba Prison Authority.


Following their transfer on Friday, however, news emerged that four of the 22: Bekele Gerba , first secretary general of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), OFC members Adisu Bulala, Gurmesa Ayano and Dejene Tafa, have disappeared after refusing to take “unknown pills” administered to them by prison authorities upon their arrival in Qilinto.


This morning, Bekele Gerba told the court that the four of them were “kept in an isolated, dark room for the last four days for refusing to take pills which we didn’t know about.”  Bekele also told the court they have been denied access to their family members and legal counsel. He then requested the court to arrange for public hearing as per their constitutional rights so that “journalists and family members can attend court hearings.” Dejene Tafa on his part said that he now fears for his safety and the safety of the 21 co-defendants.


All the 22 were arrested in connection with the recent #OromoProtestes that gripped the nation for the last five months. Unconfirmed reports put the number of people killed during the five month protests to more than 400, a figure the government disputes.

This morning a further 16 individuals, all from the Oromia regional state, and were detained at Ma’ekelawi were also brought to the same court. The court adjourned the hearing until this afternoon. It is expected that like the 22, the 16, under the file name of Tesema Regasa, will be charged with the ATP. According to lawyer Wondimu Ebbissa, who is representing the 22 defendants, so far 83 defendants, including Bekele Gerba et al, are held in Qilinto and a further 97 are believed to be either at Ma’ekelawi or the Addis Abeba police prison facility near Ma’ekelawi.


Among the charges the prosecutors have brought on defendants include statements that the defendants have participated in the recent #OromoProtests against the implementation of the Addis Abeba Master Plan, the immediate cause for the widespread protests within the Oromia regional states, the largest of the nine regional states that constitute Ethiopia.

However, a month after protests have erupted, in a rare gesture of concession to public demand, both the federal government and the Oromia regional state have said they withdrew the plan, something the federal prosecutors seem to negate with some part of their charges that indicted defendants for participating in the protest.

Ilhan Omar denounces crimes against humanity being committed in Ethiopia. #OromoProtests April 26, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

Ilhan Omar denounces crimes against humanity being committed in Ethiopia

Ilhan logo

State Representative 60-B


Contact: Jean Heyer
(612) 701-3874 / heyerjeanmarie@gmail.com
Web: www.ilhanomar.com

April 25, 2016 – Ilhan Omar strongly condemns the brutal crackdown on innocent unarmed peaceful protestors during the previous and current Oromo Protests.

“I stand with the Oromo struggle for freedom, justice and democracy in Ethiopia,” said Omar. “I urge the United States Government to stand by peaceful protestors and sanction Ethiopia, in the event it continues the current state-led violence in Oromia.

“The current protests in Oromia are not new. In April 2014, students from the Oromia region began protesting against the new Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan, which incorporates smaller towns surrounding Addis Ababa, displacing millions without compensation and endangering the economic livelihood of ethnic Oromo people in Oromia. This plan will ensure that millions of people in Oromia will be disposed of their land, their survival both in economic and cultural terms will be threatened. The Master Plan intends to expose Oromia’s natural habitat to risk, threaten economic livelihood and violate the Ethiopian constitution. As a result of the 2014 peaceful protests, over 140 people, mainly students, were mercilessly killed by Ethiopian security personnel. No independent investigation was conducted and civilians in Oromia were left burying their dead without any guarantee of justice.

“In November 2015, protests erupted again in the Oromia region. As a result, over 400 people have been killed in the past five months, thousands taken to detention camps, opposition leaders arrested and Martial Law was declared as a tactic to silence dissent. Ethiopia is an important strategic ally to the United States, but we must be wary of supporting governments that conduct in various human rights violations and condemn actions that equate to crimes against humanity.

“I call on public officials, the United States government and the international community to condemn the atrocities being committed against innocent unarmed civilians in Oromia, Ethiopia.”