Spyware Firm Should Address Alleged Misuse
March 9, 2015 (New York) – The Ethiopian government has renewed efforts to silence independent voices abroad by using apparent foreign spyware, Human Rights Watch said today. The Ethiopian authorities should immediately cease digital attacks on journalists, while foreign surveillance technology sellers should investigate alleged abuses linked to their products.
Independent researchers at the Toronto-based research center Citizen Lab on March 9, 2015, reported new attempts by Ethiopia to hack into computers and accounts of Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) employees based in the United States. The attacks bear similarities to earlier attempts to target Ethiopian journalists outside Ethiopia dating back to December 2013. ESAT is an independent, diaspora-run television and radio station. Read more…
In search of a better life, many Ethiopians migr
ate to Somalia but face xenophobia and hostility from the locals.
February 28, 2015, Bossaso, Somalia (Aljazeera) — Ankles deep in brown canal water, freshly plucked green weeds in both muddy hands, Abdi Muse Kalon cannot stop grinning. He says life here has given him a second chance – a better chance.
Risking his life, Kalon walked for more than four months from Ethiopia to get to Bossaso, a port city nestled next to the Red Sea in Somalia’s northeast. Read more…
February 23, 2015
Since the downfall of the military government of Ethiopia in 1991, the political and socioeconomic lives of the country have totally been controlled by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front/TPLF leaders and business institutions. As soon as the TPLF controlled Addis Ababa, the capital city, in 1991, the first step it took was to create People’s Democratic Organizations (PDOs) in the name of different nations and nationalities in the country. With the help of these PDOs, the TPLF managed to control the whole country in a short period of time from corner to corner. The next step that the TPLF took was to weaken and/or eliminate all independent opposition political organizations existing in the country, including those with whom it formed the Ethiopian Transitional Government in 1991. Just to pretend that it was democratizing the country, the TPLF signed seven international human rights documents from 1991 to 2014. These include the “Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”. Despite this, it is known that the TPLF has tortured many of its own citizens ever since it assumed power, and has continued to the present day. Read more…
Dear Vice President Diop, February 23, 2015
As you are aware, Human Rights Watch has researched and documented human rights violations that the government of Ethiopia has committed in the course of its “villagization” program in both Gambella and in the Lower Omo valley. We have also reported on the links between villagization and the various iterations of the World Bank’s Promoting/ Protection of Basic Services projects. With this in mind, I write to you as your staff are working to prepare an action plan responding to the Inspection Panel’s findings of non-compliance in its Ethiopia investigation. Read more…
HRLHA Urgent Action
February 16, 2015
According to a schedule released by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, citizens will go to the polls to elect a new government on 24 May 2015. It will be Ethiopia’s fifth national election since EPRDF came to power in 1991.
In connection with the coming National Election of Ethiopia, the ruling EPRDF government has begun to wage a widespread campaign to secure again the 99.6% of parliamentarian seats it has controlled since 2010- the seats it acquired by electoral fraud. As the election date of May 2015 approaches, the government of Ethiopia has unabashedly continued its systematic violence against opposition political parties’ leaders, members, and supporters. Candidates of the opposition political parties are the major targets in all regional states in the country including the capital city, Finfinne/Addis Ababa. For example, the information that the HRLHA has obtained through its correspondents indicates that hundreds of election candidates of the opposition OFC (Oromo Federalist Congress) party from most zones of Oromia Regional State have been arrested and sent to prisons. Read more…
By Feyera Negera Sobokssa
February 10, 2015 (Washington Jewish Week) — I am a torture survivor who was persecuted by the government of Ethiopia because I was advocating for the Oromo ethnic group in the country. I suffered so much between 1991 and 1996; even now I feel the severe trauma of what I experienced at the hands of torturers. I was trying to search for the right vocabulary to explain what happened to me.
After traveling to the United States in 2000, I came across a book called Night by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. This book helped me describe the human brutality and the need to speak out for others who did not have the same opportunity.
This paragraph in Night (p. viii) helped inspire me to become a voice for other victims of torture. Wiesel wrote about the importance of becoming:
“a witness who believes he has a moral obligation to try to prevent the enemy from enjoying one last victory by allowing his crimes to be erased from human memory.”
When I was a young boy in the 1960s and 70s, I witnessed how the government treated my people, the Oromos. The Oromos are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, more than one-third of the population. They have their own culture and traditions; our language, Afan Oromo, was banned in schools, government offices and the courts. As a child, I remember seeing Oromo boys beaten if they spoke the language. Even today, the ruling elites in Ethiopia still use the term “galla” to refer to Oromos. “Galla” is a horrible, derogatory word used to dehumanize Oromos and to keep them in a low position. Read more…
By Dr. Baro Keno | February 6, 2015
Love and Honour for our living and fallen heroes who resisted any barbarian act against Oromo nation
|Addee Asli Oromo: The first woman in the history of Ethiopian Empire that sentenced to death because of her political vision about Oromo people but released after 18 years in prison as a result of international communities campaign.||Addee Urjii Dhaabaa: Is one out of many Oromo Women that survived sexual aggression of Ethiopian government military force, police and security agents.|
HRLHA Urgent Action
Feb 01, 2015
For immediate Release
It is cruel, brutal and inhumane to hang any person for any wrongdoing particularly in Ethiopia, a country that claims democracy is its core principle of governance. The execution of Ketama Wubetu and his friend by Ethiopian solders- by hanging on a fence- on December 09, 2014 in Salale zone of Dera District in the regional State of Oromia was barbaric. If the hanged men were members of an opposition group fighting against the government, once they were captured they should have been brought to justice. Read more…
Legal, Policy Reforms Crucial Prior to May Elections
January 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…
Leaked World Bank report rejects claims from the Bank’s management that no link existed between their programme and villagisation.
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…
January 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…
January 1, 2015
The 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…
December 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…
HRLHA – URGENT ACTION
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…
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…