"The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being." - Lech Walesa

Friday, 9 August 2013

Ethiopia: widespread arrests reported after Eid protests

Federal Police
Federal Police
(OPride) – Hundreds arrested, beaten, and tear gassed Thursday morning following nationwide Eid day protests, Muslim rights activists said.
Police began rounding up peaceful protesters returning home near the Ministry of Justice in Addis Ababa shortly after the Eid prayers concluded at the national stadium, according to eyewitness reports on Twitter. Those detained were ordered to sit on the ground inside the Ministry’s compound, the reports said.
The state-run Ethiopian Television, ETV, cut its live coverage of the Eid ceremony abruptly as the prayers ended at Addis Ababa Stadium in the capital. At the conclusion of the prayer, activists can be heard chanting “Allah Akbar” in the background – forcing ETV to switch its feeds back to headquarters for hourly news.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Ethiopian Muslims stage Eid protests, some are arrested

(Reuters) - Muslims in Ethiopia protested in the capital Addis Ababa during Eid al-Fitr prayers on Thursday, as part of a two-year-old campaign against what they say is government interference in their religious affairs.
A heavy police presence around the city's stadium - the venue for morning prayers - marked a tense runup to the Muslim holiday after clashes between Muslims and police killed up to five people last week in Ethiopia's south.
Demonstrators chanted "Allahu Akbar" and hoisted banners that read "respect the constitution", referring to allegations that the government has tried to influence the highest Muslim affairs body, the Ethiopia Islamic Affairs Supreme Council.
Ethiopia, long seen by the West as a bulwark against militant Islam in the Horn of Africa, denies the claims but says it fears militancy is taking root in the country.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Ethiopia braces for anti-government protest

(AFP) - Addis Ababa - Anti-government Muslims in Ethiopia on Monday called for mass demonstrations to be held on the religious day of Eid al-Fitr later this week to protest the arrests of 28 people on terror charges.

The calls followed a weekend of violence in which three people were killed after security forces clashed with what police labeled Muslim “extremists.”

Hundreds of people held rallies near mosques in the capital, Addis Ababa, and some regional towns on Friday and Saturday.

Police in the Oromia region said some protesters fired guns at police. The state news agency said all three killed were police officers and that 11 people were injured during the hours-long unrest. Muslim leaders, however, said that police stormed a peaceful protest and killed about a dozen people.

Some in Ethiopia's Muslim community - about one-third of the predominantly Christian nation - have been protesting alleged government interference in religious affairs for about two years.

The Muslim protesters accuse the government of unconstitutionally encouraging a moderate teaching of Islam called Al-Ahbash. Other protests have also turned violence in the past.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Ripple of Hope v. Audacity of Hope

In June 1966, Senator Robert Kennedy (RFK) visited South AfricaAugust 4, 2013

by Alemayehu G. Mariam
The man who would be president
In June 1966, Senator Robert Kennedy (RFK) visited South Africa and delivered a speech at the University of Cape Town on the occasion of the annual Day of Affirmation organized by the National Union of South African Students. RFK’s  “Day of Affirmation” speech was uplifting, inspiring and emboldening especially considered against the backdrop of the trial and conviction of Nelson Mandela and 10 other African National Congress leaders two years earlier (audio here). Facing the death penalty in the Rivonia trial in 1964, Mandela defiantly declared: “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which

Ginbot 7: The same regime, another massacre

Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and DemocracyAugust 5, 2013

Ginbot 7 press release
Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy

The TPLF dictatorial regime that indiscriminately killed more than 200 demonstrators in the aftermath of the infamous 2005 election has struck again killing more than 25 innocent demonstrators and wounding, assaulting, and rounding up thousands more. In a bizarre and disgraceful move, the same regime that claimed 99.6% electoral victory just a little more than three years ago, has  gone to the same precincts and localities and mercilessly killed the same people that it said – “The People have spoken”.

The abuse and the killing over the weekend targeted Muslim communities all over the nation who for the past 32 months have peacefully been demanding the regime to respect their constitutional right to worship.  According to eye witnesses, the heavy-handed attack that resembled a battle field planned operation took place in the town of Kofle about 275 km

Sunday, 4 August 2013


ETHIOPIAN REGIME KILLS 25 PEACEFUL PROTESTERS AND ARREST 1,500 CIVILIANSAugust 3, 2013 - Ethiopian government forces open fire on unarmed demonstrators throughout the country, killing 25 and injuring dozens more, according to Ethiopian activists who took part in the demonstrations. 

One witness says at least one child was among the the dead. He also stated government security forces arrested over 1,500 protesters on Friday. 

For over a year, Ethiopian Muslims have been holding peaceful protests and mosque sit-ins over the regime's human rights abuses against their community and interference in their religion.