Declaration to defend democracy, freedom and human rights in Ethiopia

July 4, 2007

In the history of all great nations, there comes a moment when the people must make a choice that will define them in their own time, vindicate the enormous sacrifices of their ancestors and enable them to bequeath an enduring legacy for generations yet unborn. They are often forced to make that choice by arrogant tyrants who use brute force to entrench and perpetuate their dictatorial rule, and unabashedly proclaim to the world their contempt for the rule of law, democratic principles and civil liberties.

In the history of oppression, tyrants have spared no effort to erode the natural courage of their people and force upon them a life of cowardice and submission, debilitate their natural instincts for bravery and valor and intimidate them into accepting servility, replace their yearning for liberty with false hopes and pretensions of freedom, trick them into bartering their desire to live in dignity for a life of shame and fear, subvert their natural sense of honor, duty and patriotism for vulgar materialism, and corrupt them into selling their fidelity to truth at the altar of falsehood.

In 1776, the American people had their defining moment when they stood up and defended their liberties against a tyrannical king who taxed them without representation, closed down their legislatures and imposed upon them laws made by representatives for whom they did not grant consent. They declared then, as we do now:

“When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, it becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression.”

Our Moment to Stand Up Against Evil Rulers and For Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights in the New Ethiopian Millennium in Ethiopia is Here! We Must Act Now!

Ethiopians the world over must now make a choice, a choice that will define them today, tomorrow and in the next Millennium. We must plant the seeds of liberty today so that future generations may harvest its bounty.

We MUST therefore rise to defend freedom, democracy and human rights in Ethiopia against a tyrant who has:

In every stage of these oppressions, the people have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms. We have sought the intercession of international human rights organizations, the Legislatures of the Great Nations of the world and appealed to his sense of native justice, magnanimity and patriotism.

He has sneered at the people’s pleas for justice, scoffed at their petitions for redress of grievances and turned a deaf ear to the advice of the international community.

We, the undersigned, therefore, solemnly publish and declare, that the People of Ethiopia have the God-given right to live in freedom, democracy and human rights, to be free and establish a government that is of their own choosing and consent, and that we shall work tirelessly and without reservation or evasion to:

  • Gain the unconditional release of ALL political prisoners of conscience.
  • Restore the democratic rights of the people.
  • Institute democratic reform and accountability.
  • Enhance the capacity of legislative institutions to enact fair and just laws;
  • Strengthen civil society groups and organizations and support human rights advocates.
  • Cause the arrest and prosecution of human rights abusers, and to bring to justice the killers of 193 innocent men, women and children and wounding of 763 others.
  • Increase the independence of the judiciary.
  • Establish permanent human rights monitoring and reporting processes.
  • Secure the rights of women and promote families as a foundation for a stable society.
  • Encourage and engage youth to become future leaders.
  • Remove all press censorship, restore full press freedom and strengthen private Media.
  • Improve the electoral process to ensure fraud-free elections, and strengthen competitive party politics.
  • Limit the use of U.S. security assistance to maintain global peace, and NOT against the civilian population, and
  • Work tirelessly to bring to justice all persons guilty of crimes against humanity.

In support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other and to the People of Ethiopia that we will defend and promote, without evasion or reservation, the cause of freedom, democracy and human rights in Ethiopia in the New Millennium.

DECLARE YOUR COMMITMENT TO: DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN ETHIOPIA HERE.

IN SUPPORT OF THIS DECLARATION,

  1. Alemayehu Gebremariam
  2. Abraha Belai
  3. Abebe Gelaw
  4. Kifle Mulat
  5. Kinfu Assefa
  6. Seleshi Tilahun
  7. Mammo Muchie
  8. Lemlem Tsegaw
  9. Wondimu Mekonnen
  10. Shakespear Feyissa
  11. Ayalnesh Chainyalew
  12. Amare Gizaw
  13. Elizabeth Nega
  14. Seble Tadesse
  15. Dorothy Amare
  16. Lulit Mesfin
  17. Alemayehu Zemedkun
  18. Azeb Girma
  19. Meron Ahadu
  20. Aster Demeke-Hansson
  21. Zufan Yimer
  22. Aziz Mohammed
  23. Elias Wondimu
  24. Abeba Fekade
  25. Zenebwork Teklu
  26. Ghenet Girma
  27. Daniel Assefa
  28. Tiruwork Wondimu
  29. Abebe Bogale
  30. Maria C. Lugo
  31. Meaza Gebrewahide
  32. Joseph M Ciuffini
  33. Ehite Gebre
  34. Keif Schiefier
  35. Bekeletch Assefa
  36. Neway Mengistu
  37. Abaynesh Assefa
  38. Muluneh Yohannes
  39. Andargatchew Tsige
  40. Nathan Yimer
  41. Belaynesh Haimanot
  42. Berhane Mewa
  43. Mulu Ayele
  44. Zeke Ayele
  45. Fekade Shewakena
  46. Aklog Limeneh
  47. Fifi Derso
  48. Yousouf Omer
  49. Meaza Ejigu
  50. Tadewos Beyene
  51. Aziz Mohammed
  52. Gidey Assefa
  53. Belaynesh Solomon
  54. Haregewein Mismaku
  55. Hailu Awlachew
  56. Zemed Yitref
  57. Berhanu Dinku
  58. Tsige Moges
  59. Mesele Alem
  60. Adam Zerihun
  61. Girma Dawd
  62. Yitagesu Weldehana
  63. Solomon Kebede
  64. Emebet Solomon
  65. Abiy Assefa
  66. Junior Yigzaw
  67. Tesfaye Sileshi
  68. Samuel Belihu
  69. Semou Zinabou
  70. Girma Kassa
  71. Mekdese B. Kassa
  72. Tariku Badama
  73. Binyam Yinesu
  74. Tesfaye Letta

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July 4, 2007

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