Human Rights

Ethiopia: Media Being Decimated

Legal, Policy Reforms Crucial Prior to May Elections

ethiopia0115_reportcoverJanuary 22, 2015, Nairobi (Human Rights Watch) – The Ethiopian government’s systematic repression of independent media has created a bleak landscape for free expression ahead of the May 2015 general elections, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. In the past year, six privately owned publications closed after government harassment; at least 22 journalists, bloggers, and publishers were criminally charged, and more than 30 journalists fled the country in fear of being arrested under repressive laws.

The 76-page report, “‘Journalism is Not a Crime’: Violations of Media Freedom in Ethiopia,” details how the Ethiopian government has curtailed independent reporting since 2010. Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 70 current and exiled journalists between May 2013 and December 2014, and found patterns of government abuses against journalists that resulted in 19 being imprisoned for exercising their right to free expression, and that have forced at least 60 others into exile since 2010. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 22/01/2015 at 12:09 am

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Ethiopia: human rights groups criticise UK-funded development programme

Leaked World Bank report rejects claims from the Bank’s management that no link existed between their programme and villagisation.

A traditional homestead in Gambela, Ethiopia. The country's government denies driving indigenous people from their homes in order to make way for commercial projects. Photograph: Ariadne Van Zandbergen / Alamy/Alamy

A traditional homestead in Gambela, Ethiopia. The country’s government denies driving indigenous people from their homes in order to make way for commercial projects. Photograph: Ariadne Van Zandbergen / Alamy/Alamy

January 21, 2015 (The Guardian) — A major UK- and World Bank-funded development programme in Ethiopia may have contributed to the violent resettlement of a minority ethnic group, a leaked report reveals. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 20/01/2015 at 8:26 pm

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France: Migrants, Asylum Seekers Abused and Destitute

hrwJanuary 20, 2015, Paris (HRW) – Asylum seekers and migrants living in destitution in the port city of Calais experience harassment and abuse at the hands of French police, Human Rights Watch said today. The abuses described to Human Rights Watch include beatings and attacks with pepper spray as the migrants and asylum seekers walked in the street or hid in trucks in the hope of traveling to the United Kingdom.

Several thousand asylum seekers and migrants, most from Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, are living in makeshift camps or in the streets in Calais. Some said that their treatment by police, a lack of housing for asylum seekers, and delays in the French asylum system had deterred them from seeking asylum inFrance. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 20/01/2015 at 8:15 am

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HRLHA Holds Public Meetings with Oromo Community Members

January 1, 2015

HRLHAThe Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) held, over the past three weeks, public meetings with members of Oromo Communities in four cities of Canada and discussed human rights issues in the Horn of Africa in general and in Ethiopia in Particular. The Oromo communities involved were those of Toronto/Ontario, Edmonton & Calgary/Alberta and Winnipeg/Manitoba; and the major topic of discussion at all the four public meetings was the unabated gross human rights violations by the different regimes of the Ethiopian Government for over a century, with particular focus on what have been happening in the past twenty years under the current TPLF/EPRDF government. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 01/01/2015 at 8:42 am

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Ethiopia: Release protestors, stop crushing political opposition

amnestyDecember 11, 2014 (Amnesty International) — On 5 and 6 December, security services in Addis Ababa arrested an estimated 90 people during attempts to stage a demonstration by a coalition of nine opposition political parties. The arrests are the latest manifestation of the authorities’ hostility towards the political opposition ahead of the general election scheduled for May 2015. The Ethiopian authorities must ensure the immediate and unconditional release of those arrested for peaceful participation in, or the organization of, the demonstration, and all others imprisoned in Ethiopia for the peaceful expression of their political opinion. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 11/12/2014 at 7:14 pm

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ETHIOPIA: Outbreak of Deadly Disease in Jail, Denial of Graduation of University Students



December 10, 2014

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) would like to express its deep concern over the outbreak of a deadly disease at Gimbi Jail in Western Wollega, as a result of which one inmate has already died and sixty (60) others infected. HRLHA strongly believes that the very poor sanitation in the jail, absence of basic necessities, and denial of treatment after catching the illness have contributed to Mr. Yaikob Nigaru’s death. HRLHA fears that those who have already caught the disease might be facing the same fate. It is well documented that particularly inmates deemed “political prisoners” are deliberately subjected to unfriendly and unhealthy environments and, after getting sick as a result, are not allowed access to treatment until they approach or reach the stage of coma, which is when recoveries are very unlikely. HRLHA considers it one way of the systematic eliminations of alleged and/or perceived political dissidents. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 10/12/2014 at 11:09 am

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Ethiopia: The Endless Violence against Oromo Nationals Must be Halted

   HRLHA Fine              Fear of Torture, HRLHA Press Release


           November 16, 2014

Harassments and intimidations through arbitrary arrests, indefinite detentions without trial, kidnappings and disappearances have continued unabated in Ambo and the surrounding areas against peaceful protestors since the crackdowns of April, 2014, in which more than 36 Oromos were killed by members of the federal security force. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 17/11/2014 at 9:02 pm

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In Defense of the Latest Amnesty International (AI) report Repression in the Oromia

Begna Dugassa, Ph.D | November 14, 2014

Dear the Secretary General & the Minsters of the Ethiopian Federal Government:

I am writing this letter to defend the latest Amnesty International (AI) report BECAUSE I AM OROMO’ Sweeping Repression in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia1 from the attacks and mischaracterizations of the Ethiopian government presented on BBC Radio and other media outlets. I believe I am entitled to do this for four reasons.

The first reason is, I was born and raised in Oromia among the followers of the Oromo indigenous religion– Waqefaata. I have witnessed human violations perpetuated by consecutive Ethiopian regimes. During the Haile Selassie regime, I witnessed my family members giving a quarter of their harvests to the Abyssinians and paying taxation without representation in the government. I witnessed many Oromo family members tried not to allow baptizing their children in the Abyssinian Orthodox Church. In the belief that if someone first goes through the Waqefaata ceremony known as Amachisa, the person will remain Waqefaata, my community members developed strategy to take their children through the indigenous ceremony first. Accordingly, in the Amachisa ceremony I got the name Tolera = things are good. After that, they had me baptized because the Oromo people were forced to baptize their children in the Orthodox Church. In the ceremony of baptism they gave me a name Gebre Giyorgis = the slave of George. I leave it to the readers to compare the differences in meaning between the two names. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 13/11/2014 at 11:38 pm

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Conference on Land Policy in Ethiopia and a statement of oakland Institute

landNovember 13, 2014 (Human Rights Horn of Afrique) —  The Conference on Land Policy in Africa starts today, November 12, 2014, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Government officials, representatives from international institutions, aid agencies, and civil society organizations have gathered around the theme “ensuring agricultural development and inclusive growth.”

Given the recent explosion of land grabs across the African continent, this international conference seems pertinent and timely, especially for the millions of smallholder farmers and citizens across the continent. But let’s not allow some key facts to be drowned by the enthusiasm expressed from those attending. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 13/11/2014 at 9:21 am

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Ethiopia: The unresolved “Border Dispute” has claimed more lives in eastern Ethiopia

HRLHA Urgent Action

HRLHA FineNovember, 09, 2014

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) would like to express its deepest concerns about the so-called “Border dispute” between Oromo and Ogadenia nationals which began at the beginning of this month- for the second time in four years- in eastern Hararge Zone of Oromia Regional State.

According to a report obtained by HRLHA from its local reporters in eastern Oromia, the border clash that has been going on since November 1, 2014 around the Qumbi, Midhaga Lolaa, and Mayuu Muluqee districts between Oromo and Ogadenia nationals, has already resulted in the deaths of seven Oromos, and the displacement of about 15,000 others. Large numbers of cattle and other valuable possessions are also reported to have been looted from Oromos by the invaders. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 09/11/2014 at 11:50 am

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Minnesota: Because I am Oromo Discussion Nov 8 2104

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Posted by admin - 08/11/2014 at 11:45 pm

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Oromo Community of Minnesota: Call for Public Forum to Discuss the #BecauseIAmOromo Report by Amnesty International


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Posted by admin - 07/11/2014 at 5:45 pm

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Building Momentum in Geneva with the Oromo Diaspora


H.E. Mr. Minelik Alemu Getahun (left), Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations Office in Geneva

November 6, 2014 (The Advocates Post) — This fall was a busy time for advocacy at the United Nations on human rights in Ethiopia. It was also a great time to see The Advocates for Human Rights’ new toolkit, Paving Pathways for Justice and Accountability: Human Rights Tools for Diaspora Communities, in action.

Universal Periodic Review Concludes with Some Fireworks
In a one-hour session on September 19, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of its second Universal Periodic Review of Ethiopia. You can watch the video of the session here.

I’ve blogged about the UPR of Ethiopia before, and the adoption of the outcome is the last step in the process. The adoption of the outcome is also the only opportunity civil society organizations have to speak during the UPR process. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 06/11/2014 at 7:38 pm

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Women reporting abuse in Somalia without persecution

Note: Most of the abuse was done by Woyyaane army.

hrwNovember 6, 2014 (HRW) — Investigating sexual abuse and exploitation – especially when those accused are soldiers – is a complex and time-consuming process that requires sensitive expert handling. But even a skillful and professionally-run investigation will fail if the women and girls most affected fear to come forward to share their experiences. And in Mogadishu, women reporting sexual crimes face threats, intimidation, victimization, and stigma.

So the African Union’s recent announcement that it will investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by some African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) soldiers, is a welcome first step. The move, prompted by a September Human Rights Watch report, could help end impunity for sexual violence. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 06/11/2014 at 5:34 pm

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Human rights campaigner says African Union should move headquarters out of Ethiopia

Human rights abuse in Ethiopia

Human rights abuse in Ethiopia

November 6, 2014, JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The African Union should move its headquarters out of Ethiopia because of concerns about freedom of expression there, an Angolan journalist and human rights campaigner said.

Journalist Rafael Marques de Morais, who has been jailed and faces numerous legal challenges for his investigative work in Angola, said in Johannesburg on Tuesday night that the African Union is hypocritical for keeping its base in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. The union represents 53 countries on the continent and says it is committed to transparency and human rights. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 06/11/2014 at 11:50 am

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Sweden! Stop Deporting Oromo Political Asylum Seekers to Ethiopia

#Sweden needs to respect the UN and EU’s Human Rights Conventions where it is a signatory. The demonstrators here, in tears, request the Government of Sweden to stop deporting Oromo political asylum seekers to Ethiopia where they face torture and other ill treatments!

For more information Swedish agencies should require to refer to the recent extensive and detailed report of Amnesty International, issued on October 27 and 28, 2014  under the titles:-  Ethiopia: Ethnic Oromos arrested, tortured and killed by the state in relentless repression of dissent and ‘BECAUSE I AM OROMO’: Sweeping Repression in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia.

‘Being an Oromo’ is sufficient for the Ethiopian regime to arrest, kill or torture an Oromo. Deporting an Oromo, today, to Ethiopia means embracing notorious dictator and dragging someone to a death chamber. Such move cannot be expected from a Sweden, which is an important role model for human rights culture in the world.

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Posted by admin - 03/11/2014 at 11:29 pm

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