The arrest of Birtukan Mideksa was a criminal act in the first place
Press Release / march4freedom / October 6, 2010
Ethiopian civic, political and media groups as well as activists in the Diaspora held a meeting on Wednesday and issued the following statement on the release of Birtukan Mideksa.
After holding a sham election in May 2010, and forming a fake parliament and cabinet this week, Ethiopia's tyrant Meles Zenawi has released Birtukan Mideksa, chairperson of Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ), today.
It is well known that the regime re-arrested Birtukan Mideksa on December 29, 2008 on the filmsy charge that she was in violation of her terms of release by making a public statement that she did not ask for pardon in order to be released from prison in July 2007.
It is clear that the Meles regime had thrown Birtukan in jail illegally in preparation for the fake election that it planned for May 2010.
She has languished in jail from Nov. 2005 - July 2007, and again from December 2008 until this month under inhuman conditions. Both times her arrest was a criminal act and a violation of the regime's own constitution, proving once again that there is no rule of law in Ethiopia under the Melesís regime.
As we prepare to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the massacre of pro-democracy protesters next month, we hold the Meles regime accountable for the illegal detention of Birtukan Mideksa and tens of thousands of other political prisoners in Ethiopia.
We also strongly urge the international community to:
- demand the immediate release of all political prisoners in Ethiopia;
- demand the opening of the political space;
- urge the regime to respect the rule of law and fully respect human and civil rights, including freedom of association, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.
We will not rest until justice, freedom and democracy prevail in Ethiopia.
Phone: 202- 656 5117