(CIVICUS)―In a letter to the Ethiopian Prime Minister-designate, a coalition of over 40 civil society organizations express their concern regarding the recent arrests of journalists and human rights defenders

Repression of political activists continues: Timeline of three major arrests in March 2018

  • On March 8, Ethiopian authorities arrested Seyoum Teshome, a prominent blogger (frequent contributor to Ethiothinkthank.com) and a lecturer at Ambo University. Seyoum was detained for three months under the previous State of Emergency, and he is currently being held at Maekelawi Prison in Addis Ababa.
  • On March 15, the Command Post arrested Taye Dendea, an official at the Oromia Justice Bureau, after he questioned during media interviews and on Facebook the military’s narrative that the killing of civilians in Moyale was a mistake.
  • On March 25, Ethiopian police arrested 11 opposition activists, including previously freed detainees, after they displayed a flag that differs from the official national banner. Those arrested include four members of the opposition Blue Party, two journalists including Eskinder Nega, the former vice chairman of the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party Andualem Arage, and three members of the Zone 9 blogging collective, according to the chairmen of the two opposition parties.

The undersigned international, regional and national human rights and development organizations write to express our grave concern over the recent arrest of 11 Ethiopian journalists, bloggers and political opposition leaders amid a new crackdown on fundamental freedoms. Such measures undermine the Ethiopian government’s international human rights obligations as well as recent political commitments to initiate an era of widespread democratic political reform. As you assume your position as Prime Minister, we urge the Ethiopian Government to immediately and unconditionally release all human rights defenders, political activists and journalists, including the 11 individuals detained this week.

Read the letter here: Joint letter to new Ethiopian Prime Minister on recent arrests of journalists and human rights defenders
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One Response

  1. Kessuma Wayee

    NEW AGENDA ITEMS TO TGE NEW PM:
    1. Audit of Land Appropriations in Addis Ababa since 2003.
    We have the right to know how land in cities, especially in Aadis Ababa, has been grabbed and so-facilitated for Tigreans (Ayat, Summit area, etc) followin the failed “Election” 2005.

    It is imortant to cite how Arkebe Equbai imported his administrative personnel from Tigrai in 2003 (all the ten subcity heads and subcity land administration bureau heads in preparation of land grab).

    2. Audit of Condo Houses Appropriations (condo “lottery”) especially in Addis Ababa.
    Addis residents have the right to know how tge city condos have been distributed through “lottery draws” tgat also rewarded hundres and thousands of Tigreans some of whom travelled to the City for the very first time in their lives leave alone to be residents of Addis per the minimum requirements set to that effect.

    3. Again on Condo Houses
    We have the right to know how hundreds of Tigrean youth were and are being brought to Addis only 6 to 9 months before the next condo “lottery” draws, provided with Addis Resident IDs, set to work on different small projects and – THEN – declared “condo lottey winners”, got their buildings sold for them at sky-rocketing prices to help them create businesses back in tgeir respective town in Tigrai.

    4. Audit of City Land Appropriations in Addis Ababa through “Negotiations”

    Such an approach was declared inappropruate when Ali Abdo and his cronies abuse land deals years back. Now, we need to know how EFORT managed to build a “tower” close to Mega Building (another propery of EFORT) and Arkebe’s brother-in-law (owner of Alem Genet) close to Flaming Hotel and swallowing and infringing on the rights of a legally-built building (Tommy Tower). Both the said buildings are along the prime Bole Road.

    Similar audits are called for along Asmara Road, Gurd Shola, CMC right up to Ayat Village and almost all areas of Addis. (Let us put aside all other towns for now.)

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. WE ALSO HAVE STAKE IN THE CITY!

    Reply

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