ETHIOPIA: Arrests and Detentions of Oromo Students Continued

HRLHA Logo2While fresh arrests and detentions, kidnappings and disappearances of Oromo nationals have continued in different parts of the regional state of Oromo following the April-May crackdown of peaceful demonstrators, court rulings over the cases of some of the earlier detainees by courts of the regional state are being rejected by political agents of the governing TPLF/EPRDF Party. The renewed violence by government forces against Oromo nationals started particularly following what was termed as “Lenjii Siyaasaa” (literally meaning “political training) that has targeted Oromo Students of higher educational institutions and has been going on in the past two weeks in different parts of Oromia. Continue reading ETHIOPIA: Arrests and Detentions of Oromo Students Continued →

Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA)

26th Session of United Nations Human Rights Council Geneva, Palais des Nations, Presented By :Garoma B. Wakessa : Executive Director of HRLHA June 19, 2014 Ethiopia: Gross Violations of Human Rights and an intractable conflict Introduction: It is common in democratic countries around the world for people to express their grievances/ dissatisfactions and complaints against their governments by peaceful demonstrations and assemblies. When such nonviolent civil rallies take place, it should always be the state’s responsibility to respect and guard their citizens’ freedom to peacefully assemble and demonstrate. These responsibilities should apply even during times of political protests, when a state’s own power is questioned, challenged, or perhaps undermined by assemblies of citizens practicing in nonviolent resistance. If a government responds to peaceful protests improperly, a peaceful protest might lead to a violent protest- that could then become an intractable conflict. Government agents, most of all the police, must respect the local and international standards of democratic rights of the citizens during peaceful assemblies or demonstrations. Continue reading Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) →

United Nations Human Rights Council 26th Session, Geneva, Switzerland

Statement for Oral Presentation, June 16, 2014 By Mr. Garoma Wakessa, Executive Director, Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) Agenda Item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development – Ethiopia Thank You, Mr. Chairman, The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa is highly concerned about the extreme violations of fundamental rights by the Ethiopian Government against Oromo students of universities, colleges, and high schools particularly in the past two months. The harsh crackdown against the Oromo students, which resulted in the death of more than 34 youth and the arrest and detention of many others happened following a peaceful protest by the Oromo students and the Oromo people against the Integrated Master Plan of Addis Ababa, which aimed at the annexation of 36 towns of Oromia to the Capital Addis Ababa at the cost of evictions of hundreds of thousands of Oromos from their properties and long-time livelihoods without their consultations and consents. Continue reading United Nations Human Rights Council 26th Session, Geneva, Switzerland →

Ethiopia: Nine Journalists and Bloggers Denied Bail

Reporters Sans Frontières (PRESS RELEASE)

RSF LogoThree journalists and six bloggers who have been held for the past five months were denied bail by a federal court in Addis Ababa on the 20th of August, 2014 after the prosecution argued that article 3 of the 2009 anti-terrorism law, under which they are detained, precludes release on bail. According to a press release by Reporter Sans Frontieres, the defence said article 3′s bail prohibition does not apply because none of them has been individually charged with a specific crime under the anti-terrorism law. The defence also argued that article 3 violates the constitutional guarantee of the right to release on bail. Continue reading Ethiopia: Nine Journalists and Bloggers Denied Bail →

U.S.-Africa summit did not address human rights violations: advocates

US Dept of StateWASHINGTON — The U.S.-Africa summit has focused on trade, security and even the Ebola virus, but human rights advocates say abuses by some leaders who are attending are being swept under the rug. “It is kind of like a missed opportunity,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director for Human Rights Watch. Bekele said President Obama “is focused on trade and security issues” at the summit this week, while giving less attention to flagrant violations of law and human rights. Four leaders of the continent’s most notorious autocracies — Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Eritrea’s Isaias Afewerki and the Central African Republic’s interim President Catherine Samba-Panza — were barred from the summit. But critics faulted the presence of leaders like Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos, accused of using arbitrary arrests and a repressive police force to silence critics, along with Mulatu Teshome, president of Ethiopia, which has used anti-terror laws to suppress dissent. Gambian activists protested the invitation to President Yahya Jammeh, a virulent foe of gay rights. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, whose country passed a Draconian anti-gay law that the judiciary then repealed, posed for a picture Tuesday with Obama. Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Kerry have all cited human rights in their remarks this week. “Nations that uphold these rights and principles will be prosperous and economically successful,” the President said at a Wednesday news conference. But critics like Bekele said Obama’s strong words on the topic have often not translated into policy. SOURCE: Daily News, NY