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U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) urges his colleagues to vote on H.Res. 128 to address human rights abuses in Ethiopia on the House of Representatives floor November 3, 2017

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U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) urges his colleagues to vote on H.Res. 128 to address human rights abuses in Ethiopia on the House of Representatives floor on 1st November 2017.

 

https://twitter.com/addisstandard/status/926071114190721024


U.S. legislator: Ethiopia’s lobbying must not stop human rights measure

By AT editor – 2 November 2017
U.S. legislator: Ethiopia’s lobbying must not stop human rights measure


A United States legislator is again pressing for a vote on House Resolution 128, a measure calling for human rights protections and inclusive governance in Ethiopia that was supposed to be up for a vote last month. It was postponed by what supporters say is suppression by the Ethiopian government.

“It has been brought to my attention that the Ethiopian government has threatened to cut off security cooperation with the United States should we proceed with House Resolution 128,” said Representative Mike Coffman, R-CO, from the floor on Wednesday. “I am particularly dismayed that rather than solving their problems and moving towards becoming a more democratic country, the Ethiopian government has chosen instead to hire a D.C. lobbying firm at a cost of $150,000 a month.”

Coffman’s appeal follows a Human Rights Watch letter, signed by other human rights organizations, that was sent last month to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and key elected representatives.

“The Ethiopian government vigorously fought all previous attempts to hold it accountable for abuses of human rights and democratic norms, and it has opposed the current measure from its inception,” said Yoseph Badwaza, a senior program officer for Africa at Freedom House. “In January 2017, it hired a Washington-based lobbying firm in an effort to kill H. Res. 128 and its companion resolution in the Senate.”

Coffman said the resolution “calls on the Government of Ethiopia to take clear decisive steps towards becoming more inclusive, more democratic and more respectful of the basic human rights of its own people.”

Specifically, it condemns the excessive use of force by Ethiopian security forces and the killing of peaceful protesters; the arrest and detention of journalists, students, activists and political leaders, and the Ethiopian government’s abuse of the anti-terrorism proclamation to stifle political and civil dissent. Coffman’s comments came as Ethiopia again denied the release of Oromo leader Bekele Gerba, despite a court ruling Monday that he was to be freed on bond.

The U.S. resolution also calls on Ethiopia to admit U.N. human rights observers and includes language to support targeted sanctions against Ethiopians responsible for gross human rights violations.

Coffman said that if the Ethiopian government wants to correct any negative perceptions about the country in the U.S., the solution isn’t a public affairs campaign but rather an end to the repression of the Ethiopian people.


HRW: joint letter from 9 organizations urging US Congress to vote HR 128 & show respect for human rights in #Ethiopia

 

 

News Item: Smith Resolution on Ethiopian Human Rights Advances From Committee, 27 July 2017

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Smith Resolution on Ethiopian Human Rights Advances From Committee July 27, 2017

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News Item: Smith Resolution on Ethiopian Human Rights Advances From Committee

27 July 2017

Today, the full House Foreign Affairs Committee voted to advance a resolution, authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), highlighting the human rights violations of the Ethiopian government, and offering a blueprint to create a government better designed to serve the interests of the Ethiopian people.

The resolution, which passed without objection, also calls on the U.S. government to implement Magnitsky Act sanctions, targeting the individuals within the Ethiopian government who are the cause of the horrific abuses.

The State Department’s current human rights report on Ethiopia notes, “[t]he most significant human rights problems were security forces’ use of excessive force and arbitrary arrest in response to the protests, politically motivated prosecutions, and continued restrictions on activities of civil society and NGOs.”

H. Res. 128, is like a mirror held up to the Government of Ethiopia on how others see them, and it is intended to encourage them to move on the reforms they agree they need to enact,” said Smith, Chair of the House panel on Africa. “For the past 12 years, my staff and I have visited Ethiopia, spoken with Ethiopian officials, talked to a wide variety of members of the Ethiopia Diaspora and discussed the situation in Ethiopia with advocates and victims of government human rights violations.  Our efforts are not a response merely to government critics, but rather a realistic assessment of the urgent need to end very damaging and in some cases inexcusable actions by the government or those who act as their agents.”

H. Res. 128, entitled “Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia,” condemns the human rights abuses of Ethiopia and calls on the Ethiopian government to:

  • lift the state of emergency;
  • end the use of excessive force by security forces;
  • investigate the killings and excessive use of force that took place as a result of protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions;
  • release dissidents, activists, and journalists who have been imprisoned for exercising constitutional rights;
  • respect the right to peaceful assembly and guarantee freedom of the press;
  • engage in open consultations with citizens regarding its development strategy;
  • allow a United Nations rapporteur to conduct an independent examination of the state of human rights in Ethiopia;
  • address the grievances brought forward by representatives of registered opposition parties;
  • hold accountable those responsible for killing, torturing and detaining innocent civilians who exercised their constitutional rights; and
  • investigate and report on the circumstances surrounding the September 3, 2016, shootings and fire at Qilinto Prison, the deaths of persons in attendance at the annual Irreecha festivities at Lake Hora near Bishoftu on October 2, 2016, and the ongoing killings of civilians over several years in the Somali Regional State by police.

It is important to note that this resolution does not call for sanctions on the Government of Ethiopia, but it does call for the use of existing mechanisms to sanction individuals who torture or otherwise deny their countrymen their human and civil rights,” said Smith.

Smith has chaired three hearings on Ethiopia, the most recent of which looked into the deterioration of the human rights situation in Ethiopia and was titled “Ethiopia After Meles: The Future of Democracy and Human Rights.”

 


Itoophiyaa keessatti akkaataa qabiinsa mirga dhala namaa fooyyeesuudhaa wixineen seeraa miseensonni mana maree Yunaaytid Isteets dhiheessan manichaaf akka dhihaatu fi sagaleen irratti kennamu koreen dhimmoota biyyoota alaa waligalteera gahe.