Remembering the massacre in Ethiopia

Soccep press release
Novemeber 1, 2006

On November 1, 2005, the ruling group in Ethiopia led by the Prime Minister Meles Zelawi, ordered its security forces to shoot on unarmed civilian demonstrators eventually murdering close to 200 and wounding over 700 individuals. According to eyewitnesses and the recently released reports of the government’s own Inquiry Commission, of the 193 murdered, there were children as young as 10 and seniors as old as 70 years of age.

Following this cold-blooded killing, virtually all of the leaders of the opposition parties, journalists, Human Rights and anti poverty activists were arrested and detained incommunicado. Additionally, thousands of peaceful residents of the capital Addis Ababa and many other cities all over the country were detained and taken to remote concentration camp-type detention centers. These political prisoners were then subjected to torture, solitary confinement, and many other forms of abuse.

A year after this atrocity, the leaders of the opposition, Human Rights Groups, Anti- Poverty Advocates, and journalists are still languishing in filthy prisons charged with “treason”. Leaders of major civic society groups such as the president of the Ethiopian Teachers Association and the Chairman of the independent Ethiopian Free Press Journalists Association are forced into exile. The budding free press has been dismantled, the people continue to be violently subdued, and the rule of law is shattered. As a result, arbitrary killings, disappearances and torture have become the modus operandi of EPDRF’s day-to-day governance.

The ruling group in Ethiopia is now among the most repressive and brutal regimes in the entire African continent. Ethiopia is once again under the rule of absolute dictatorship.

This type of repression cannot and must not be tolerated. Such crime against humanity must not be allowed to continue.

Hence, we call on the government of Canada and all peace loving people to:

  1. Continue pressing the ruling group in Ethiopia to release all political prisoners including leaders of the opposition political parties, journalists, human rights advocates and anti poverty activists.
  2. Demand that the ruling group in Ethiopia immediately halt all forms of repression and abide by the rule of law as well as by internationally established human rights conventions and democratic rights standards.
  3. Demand the government to bring to justice all those who masterminded and carried out the killings of June and November 2005.
  4. Continue suspending all direct budgetary assistance to the ruling group in Ethiopia, its regional governments and/or their affiliated organizations until such time that respect for human and democratic rights is clearly demonstrated.

Injustice any where is injustice every where.

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SOCEPP - Solidarity Committee for Ethiopians for Political Prisoners - can be reached at socepp.can@sympatico.ca

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