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…
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…
November 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…
HRLHA Urgent Action
November, 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…
Oromo Community of Minnesota: Call for Public Forum to Discuss the #BecauseIAmOromo Report by Amnesty International
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…
Note: Most of the abuse was done by Woyyaane army.
November 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…
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…
#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.
Jaallannee Gammadaa irraa
October 31, 2014, WASHINGTON DC (VOA Afaan Oromoo) — Gareen mirga dhalaf falmu ka sadarkaa Addunyaa AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Itiyoophiyaan, saba biyyattii keessatti guddaa tahee lammiwwan Oromoo -mootummaa mormitan” sabaabaa jedhuun, itti xiyyeeffattee haala gar-laafina hin qabneen dararaa irratti geggeessaa jirti jedha gabaasaa haarawa facaaseen.
“Oromoo ta’uu koo qofaaf” dararaa fi hiraarsi kun na irratti geggeeffama mata-duree jedhuun ka maxxansame gabaasaan Amnesty International haaraan kun Lammiwwan saba Oromoo kuma hedduutti lakkaawaman “ajaja seeraa ti ala hidhamuu, himannaa seeraa malee yeroo dheeraaf mana tursiisamuu, humnaan butamanii dhabamsiisamuu, dararaa deddeebi’ee geggeessamuu fi ajjeechaa humnoota mootummaaf saaxilamanii jiran jedha. Dhuga-ba’insa namoota dhibba lamaa olii walitti-qabuu isaa illee dubbata. Read more…
October 28, 2014, ADDIS ABABA(VOA News) — Amnesty International has issued anew report claiming that the Ethiopian government is systematically repressing the country’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo. Read more…
October 28, 2014
Amnesty International released a-166 page report on the repression committed against Oromo by the TPLF. Please find the report in PDF herewith.
“I was arrested for about eight months. Some school students had been arrested, so their classmates had a demonstration to ask where they were and for them to be released. I was accused of organising the demonstration because the government said my father supported the OLF so I did too and therefore I must be the one who is organising the students.” Young man from Dodola Woreda, Bale Zone.
The anticipation and repression of dissent in Oromia manifests in many ways. The below are some of the numerous and varied individual stories contained in this report: Read more…
By William Davison
October 27, 2014 (Bloomberg Business Week) –Ethiopia’s government illegally detained at least 5,000 members of the country’s most populous ethnic group, the Oromo, over the past four years as it seeks to crush political dissent, Amnesty International said.
Victims include politicians, students, singers and civil servants, sometimes only for wearing Oromo traditional dress, or for holding influential positions within the community, the London-based advocacy group said in a report today. Most people were detained without charge, some for years, with many tortured and dozens killed, it said. Read more…
October 23, 2014
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) is highly pleased with the news that Minor Abde Jemal has been release from the Bishari Jail in Mettu, Iluu Abbabor Province; and has re-united with his parents in Bilo Nopha. According to information obtained by HRLHA through its correspondents, Minor Abde Jemal was released from prison after being taken to a court in Mettu, and his prison term was reduced from four years down to three months.
HRLHA believes that this is an outcome of the efforts of local, regional, and international human rights agencies, including HRLHA (http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14955), who condemned the imposition of such a tough sanction against Minor Abde Jemal and demanded its reversal as well as different media organizations who echoed those outcries by the various human rights groups. However, HRLHA would like to express its appreciation to the Ethiopian Government, at both federal and regional levels, for the immediate and positive response to the strong reactions from the various groups of human rights advocacy and the media. HRLHA also calls up on the Ethiopian Government to adapt to such cultures of respecting and protecting fundamental rights of its citizens, regardless of their ages, gender, religious, and/or ethnic backgrounds, through abiding by the provisions of both constitutional and legal documents of the Country as well as the international human rights standardsthat it has ratified. Read more…