"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, 6 September 2013

A prisoner of conscience’s call for sanctions against Ethiopia

Standing with Ethiopia's tenacious blogger, Eskinder Nega - CPJ blog
Eskinder Nega

Eskinder Nega


European aid has transformed my country’s economy but also props up one-party rule. Let EU donors give us democracy

To Ethiopia’s archaic left, which dominates the ruling party, the new euphemism for the west is neoliberal. Compared to the jargon of bygones days – imperialists – when Lenin and Mao were still in vogue, neoliberal sounds decidedly wimpy. But this hardly matters to Ethiopia’s ruling party. What it seeks is a bogeyman to tamp down rising expectations for multiparty democracy.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and the right to freedom of expression – By Patrick Griffith

By: Patrick Griffith
On Wednesday 17 July 2013, members of the European Parliament’s Sub-committee on Human Rights visited Ethiopia and urged the government to release journalists and opposition activists imprisoned under the country’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation No. 652/2009 (Anti-Terror Proclamation). The visit is an important reminder that despite widely hailed progress on poverty reduction, the Ethiopian government continues to punish free expression in violation of international law.
Eskinder Nega, an outspoken journalist and blogger who was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment in July 2012, is amongst those arbitrarily detained under the Anti-Terror Proclamation. In early 2011, Nega began writing and speaking publicly about the protest movements then sweeping north Africa. Although initially hesitant to draw direct parallels with Ethiopia, he was clearly supportive of the protesters abroad and critical of his government at home. He also consistently emphasised the importance of non-violence. But despite the clear protection of peaceful free expression under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Ethiopia is a party, the government reacted by prosecuting Nega as a traitor and terrorist.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Meles’ selected speech: completing the story

ETV even took a page from North Korean manual on cult of personality. by Hindessa Abdul

It has been a year since long time Ethiopian ruler Meles Zenawi died of unestablished causes in a Belgian hospital somewhere between June and August of 2012. The Government hasn’t come out clearly about the cause of his death.
During the last several weeks the state run media were preoccupied portraying a person akin to a saint. The praises showered upon him were more than needed to canonize him. 21-gun salute was fired; millions of trees planted; fellow leaders of neighbouring countries were at hand to give pomp to the event; scores of parks renamed after him, and the list goes on and on.

University professors, army generals, cabinet members, and party operatives were paraded to give testimony about the deeds of his excellency. They said he was an intellectual, a military strategist, a farmers’s best friend, and man of the people.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

BBC – Ethiopia denies crackdown on Semayawi party

Some 1,500 people attended the pro-government rally against extremism
Some 1,500 people
attended the
rally against extremism
BBC – Some 100 members of Ethiopia’s opposition Semayawi (Blue) party were arrested and some badly beaten over the weekend, the party says.
Party chairman Yilekal Getachew said equipment such as sound systems were confiscated ahead of a rally on Sunday which was banned.
Communication Minister Shimeles Kemal denied there had been a crackdown.
The government said the venue had already been booked by a pro-government group condemning religious extremism.
The governing EPRDF maintains strict control over public life in Ethiopia.
The public protest Semayawi organised in June was the first major demonstration on the streets of Addis Ababa since 2005 when hundreds of protesters were killed in violence.
It was called to demand the release of jailed journalists and activists.
The rally planned for Sunday was to call for political reforms.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Interpreting and Living MLK’s Dream By Prof. Al Mariam

MLK1On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech for the ages from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. A quarter of a million people stood in rapt attention and listened to that speech. It was the crowning moment of the March on Washington for jobs and freedom.
Fifty years later, MLK’s speech continues to captivate the imagination and deeply penetrate the souls and consciences of people the world over. MLK was not only a dreamer but also a man of extraordinary vision, unlimited imagination and hope in the infinite capacity of humanity to be humane while acutely aware of  “man’s inhumanity to man”. At the 2013 commemorative celebrations of the March on Washington, President Jimmy Carter ranked MLK at the pinnacle of American leadership. “In my Nobel Prize speech of 2002, I said ‘My fellow Georgian [MLK] was the greatest leader in my native state, and perhaps my native country has ever produced. And I was not excluding presidents and even the founding fathers when I said this.’”

Semayawi attacked, beaten up and ransacked

Semayawi attacked, beaten up and ransacked

by Abebe Gellaw
In the evening of Saturday August 31, Semayawi Party headquarters around Ginfle, Addis Ababa, was buzzing like a bee hive as nearly one hundred party activists and organizers were busy making posters, writing slogans, stacking flags and other paraphernalia needed for a colorful rally. They were making the final push for a peaceful demonstration they had planned to hold the next morning with their supporters.

These peaceful and law-abiding citizens were doing what true political activists were supposed to do. They wanted to demand justice and freedom. They wanted to petition their rulers to respects the rights of citizens who are being routinely abused, tortured and killed in broad daylight. They only wanted to ask the thuggish TPLF regime to free all prisoners

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Terror on The Blue Party of Ethiopia

Blue Party (Semayawi Party) of young people in Ethiopia.

by Tedla Asfaw
Saturday August 31, 2013 on the eve of the Blue Party called rally in Addis the Blue Party Head Office was attacked by Western financed and supported thugs of the Ethiopian brutal security forces where more than one hundred members and supporters of the Blue Party was taken to local prisons beaten up savagely according to Eng Yelekal Getenet the party president.

The regime security thugs unleashed similar beating on fellow Ethiopian Muslims on the Eid al-fiter Celebration this month. The regime believes such brutal beating of women, children, elderly and the young will deter people not to join any peaceful protest any where in Ethiopia.