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

Saturday, 20 June 2015

It is time to change our strategy regarding Andargachew Tsige

Andargachew Tsgie Before the T-TPLF Inquisition?

June 20, 2015
by Densa
Considering the many blunders the policy of Great Britain politicians have done to harm the Ethiopian people why not we take our case to the voting population directly? This time around the best means of struggle from our vantage point need to be educate activists and the general public about the British government’s wrong policy. I believe had there been adequate publicity the case of Andargachew Tsige could have been a national embarrassment to the British government. After all, the circumstances surrounding his arrest has all the telltale signs that can implicates the British government.
Why do we keep courting the politicians while we know they have close

Friday, 19 June 2015

Gayle Smith condemned by an Ethiopian activist during a US Senate confirmation hearing

Mekonnen Getachew, an Ethiopian activist, loudly condemned Gayle Smith

June 19, 2015
ESAT News (June 18, 2015)
Mekonnen Getachew, an Ethiopian activist, loudly condemned Gayle Smith while on a confirmation hearing as USAID administrator nominee at Senate Building in Washington DC, on Wednesday June 17, 2015. Smith was interrupted when she was giving a speech on human rights, development, and good governance in Africa.
Mr. Mekonnen, DC metro area Taskforce member for Human Rights and Democracy, told ESAT that Smith has been supporting Tigray people’s Liberation Front a for quarter of a century. “Instead of working for ordinary people in Ethiopia, Smith has been cooperating with a dictatorial and corrupt government officials that oppress the Ethiopian people,” Mekonnen told ESAT.

Ethiopian General Election: An Insult to the People and Democracy

Ethiopian General Election: An Insult to the People and Democracy

June 19, 2015
by Graham Peebles
Every five years the Ethiopian people are invited by the ruling party to take part in a democratic pantomime called ‘General Elections’. Sunday 24th May saw the latest production take to the national stage.

With most opposition party leaders either in prison or abroad, the populace living under a suffocating blanket of fear, and the ruling party having total control over the media, the election result was a foregone conclusion. The European Union, which had observed the 2005 and 2010 elections, refused to send a delegation this time, maintaining their presence would legitimise the farce, and give credibility to the government.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

UN report promotes encryption as fundamental and protected right

The Ethiopian government is suspected of conducting widespread surveillance
A meeting of the UN Human Rights Council
in Geneva. Special Rapporteur on freedom of
 opinion and expression David Kaye is due to
present his report on encryption there
on June 17. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse)

June 18, 2015

by Geoffrey King (CPJ)
On Wednesday, Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye will present his report on international legal protection for encryption and anonymity to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The report is an important contribution to the security conversation at a time when some Western leaders are calling for ill-informed and impossible loopholes in technology–a trend that facilitates surveillance and tends to enable states that openly seek to repress journalists.

Ethiopia, which aggressively prosecuted a group known as the “Zone 9″ bloggers for participating in email encryption training is one such state. Authorities there jail more journalists than any other country in Africa, other than Eritrea, and it is the fourth most censored country in the world, according to CPJ research. The Ethiopian government is suspected of conducting widespread surveillance inside the county and ofhacking the computers of journalists living overseas.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Exclusive: Andargachew Tsege reportedly said he sees no reason to stay alive

Free Andargachew Tsige Protest in LondonJune 17, 2015

(The Independent) – Fears are growing for the state of mind of a British father of three who has languished in a secret jail in Ethiopia for almost a year.

Andargachew “Andy” Tsege, who has been sentenced to death, reportedly told the British ambassador during a rare visit: “Seriously, I am happy to go – it would be preferable and more humane.”
Next week marks the first anniversary of Mr Tsege, a leading opponent of the Ethiopian regime, being imprisoned during a trip to Africa.
Amid growing concerns for the 60-year-old Briton’s well-being, he was visited by ambassador Greg Dorey on in April.
A report of the ambassador’s visit was sent to Mr Tsege’s partner, Yemi Hailemariam, the mother of their three children.

Ethiopia Opposition Candidate Dies After Attack in Northwest

Samuel Awoke Opposition Candidate
Samuel Awoke (PHOTO: NegereEthiopia)

June 17, 2015

(Bloomberg) – An Ethiopian parliamentary candidate for the opposition Blue Party died after being assaulted in Debre Markos, a town in the country’s northwest, the group said.
Two people attacked Samuel Awoke, 29, with a club and knife as he returned home alone from a night out with friends, spokesman Yonatan Tesfaye said by phone Tuesday from the capital, Addis Ababa.
“We are trying to figure out who are the killers and the reasons,” he said, citing suspicions it was politically motivated. Ethiopian Communications Minister Redwan Hussien said in a text message that a suspect has been apprehended and the attack may have stemmed from a legal dispute.
Samuel reported previous death threats and a beating during campaigning for the polls that were held May 24, Yonatan said. The lawyer had been active in challenging election procedures and results in the Amhara region town, 295 kilometers (183 miles) northwest of the capital, he said

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Ethiopia: Freedom Fighters freed prisoners in Tepi town

Ethiopian town Tepi

June 16, 2015
ESAT News (June 11, 2015)
ESAT received reliable information that freedom fighters attacked a prison in Tepi town, Southern Ethiopia on the morning of Friday June 06, 2015 and freed at least 100 prisoners. Three police officers were reportedly killed during the operation.

The leader of the freedom fighters told ESAT two of the fighters, the founder of the group and another member, were killed in a heavy exchange of fire.
The leader of the group who requested anonymity told ESAT that the local youth league was formed to fight for freedom and basic human rights in the area and beyond.
The leader said his group has waged several attacks on government forces which tried to eliminate them by mobilizing a mechanized brigade but could not succeed.

Ethiopian Ruling Party Claims Absurd Election Victories Once Again

Ethiopian-American Council of North AmericaJune 16, 2015

Ethiopian American Council | ethioamericans@gmail.com | www.eacouncil.org

San Jose CA June 12, 2015 – The ruling Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF)/ Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has once again pulled off one of the more spectacular scams on the global political scene – the Ethiopian national elections. In elections held on May 24, it has claimed landslides, near-100-percent victories, throughout the country, allowing it to seat party members in every single parliamentary seat. In the 2000 elections EPRDF allowed the opposition to occupy at least one seat in the parliament.
No Western Observers
Western nations were not invited to attend or, more probably, did not wish to be associated with what has become a delirious attempt by the TPLF/EPRDF to convince the world and the Ethiopian people that the government is loved by one and all.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Happy 800th Birthday, Magna Carta!

Magna Carta CSUSB
Magna Carta CSUSB

June 15, 2015

by Alemayehu G. Mariam
Today, June 15, 2015, is the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta Libertatum or the Great Charter of English Liberties. On that date, King John of England affixed his seal on the Magna Carta and formally accepted the principle of the rule of law, specific and sweeping limitations on his royal power.
In place of my regular Monday Commentary, I am proud to present the speeches given by my students on the occasion of the 800th anniversary celebration of the Magna Carta on my campus, the California State University, San Bernardino.
I  have “crowed” from time to time that I have never missed posting a Monday Commentary in years. That would be nine years of uninterrupted weekly commentaries (as some would affectionately call them “sermons’) to date.
Well, that claim ends today, June 15, 2015.

South Africa Govt must investigate Al-Bashir’s departure – court

Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir
Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, second left,
 stands next to Sahrawi president, Abdel Aziz Mohamed,
second right, during a photo op at the AU summit in
Johannesburg, Sunday June 14 2015. The High
Court in Pretoria has granted an interim order
preventing Sudanese President al-Bashir from
 leaving South Africa, pending an application
for his arrest.(AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed)

June 15, 2015

Pretoria – The South African government must investigate the departure of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Monday, as the High Court in Pretoria ruled that he should, in fact, have been arrested.

“The respondents are compelled to take reasonable steps to arrest President al-Bashir without a warrant… and detain him pending a formal request for his surrender from the International Criminal Court.”
In a ruling read to the court by Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, who with Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba and Judge Hans Fabricius decided on the matter, the government’s failure to detain al-Bashir was “inconsistent with the constitution of the republic”.
But following the order, William Mokhari, SC, for the government, told the court: “I have been informed by the government that they have reliable information that President al-Bashir has departed from the republic… to the Sudan.”