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No Government That Kills Its Own Citizens Should Be Treated As A Friend
Nov 19th, 2016 by Publisher News Group

…SOCEPP Canada appreciates Minister Dion’s expression of concern with regard to the repression in Ethiopia. However, we would like to stress that for the most part of the last 25 years, Canada has expressed similar concerns over the atrocities of the Ethiopian government with no positive outcome. Despite paying lip service to the donor community, the Ethiopian government has shown no tangible progress with regard to upholding human rights, or opening the political space and ensuring democratic rights or initiating a national dialogue that could work towards consensus and inclusiveness…

MINISTER DION’S VISIT TO ETHIOPIA Nov 2016.pdf

Action Speaks Louder Than Words
Nov 8th, 2016 by Publisher News Group

The

Ethiopian Government’s Empty Promise on Press Freedom

 

FROM THE EDITOR

October 7, 2016

On Oct 3, 2016 in an interview with BBC , the new communication minister of the TPLF led government in Ethiopia Dr Negeri Lenco has said that he” is committed to press freedom”. However, the question is whether his statement reflective of the government he is representing and if so what is the steps he and his government should take right now to demonstrate their “commitment to press freedom” .

It is now evident that for years, the government in Ethiopia has been among the top suppressors of press freedom in the entire world and of course among the top three “enemies of the press” in the entire Africa.

According to CPJ “With 17 journalists behind bars as of December 1, 2015 Ethiopia was the second-worst jailer of journalists in Africa, after Eritrea. “

According to Freedom House, the status of freedom in 2015 is ranked as follows: Press freedom, not free ; Internet freedom, not free, Legal environment worst, Political environment worst.

According to CPJ, just few weeks ago , the government arrested a well know blogger and lecturer at Ambo university , Seyoum Teshome.

Reporters Without Boarder explains the situation about freedom of expression in Ethiopia as follows:” Ever since the 2009 anti-terrorism law took effect, terrorism charges have been systematically used against journalists. The charges carry long jail sentences and allow the authorities to hold journalists without trial for extended periods. There has been little improvement since the purges that led to the closure of six newspapers in 2014 and drove around 30 journalists into exile. Physical and verbal threats, arbitrary trials and convictions are all used to silence the media “ .

This is the reality of freedom of the press in Ethiopia for the last 25 years. Hence, we urge the new minister and his government to go beyond rhetoric and demonstrate in action their “ commitment to press freedom” by setting free all journalists imprisoned for political reasons i.e Eskindir Nega, Temsegen Desalegn, blogger Seyoum Teshome and many others and by repealing the repressive laws that made speaking the truth a crime . As the saying goes, Action speaks louder than words. It is one thing to say we are “committed to press freedom” but completely different to walk the talk. Ethiopians demand and deserve full respect of their human rights.

Nov 3rd, 2016 by Publisher News Group

 

FROM THE EDITOR

Change In Ministers But No Change In Policy; The Crisis Will Continue

Nov 2, 2016

On Tuesday October 31, 2016, the PM Hailemariam of Ethiopia appointed 21 ministers  to his new cabinet. This happens in the mildest of the popular protest in the country in Oromiya,  Amhara regions, as well as in the south   for the last 12 continuous months and by Ethiopian Muslims for over 4 years.

The main demand of the population has been about respect for freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, against the interference of the government in religious affirms , against the ethnic domination , against displacement of farmers, repression of identity, the absolute domination of the political space by the ruling TPLF led EPRDF etc. Basically, the people have lost confidence in the 25 years rule of the TPLF led EPRDF.

Instead of answering any of this public demand, the government is now involved in a superficial change. None of the repressive policies of the government have changed. Freedom of expression is not respected, no demonstration is allowed, infact the entire country is under state of emergency. Non of the repressive laws such as the Charities and associations act that has obliterated the independent civil society , the anti terrorism act, whci has been used to jail opposition leaders, journalists etc has been changed.

There is no reform in the country’s justice system; the judiciary continues to be the political arm of the ruling TPLF led government. The government continues to refuse to sit down with the opposition to address the root causes of the current unrest in the spirit of national dialogue and reconciliation. Infact, the attorney general makes mockery of the oppositions call for national dialogue calling it “an attempt to seize power”. Not a single political prisoner has been released. To the contrary, in the last three months alone, over 10 thousand have been detained in horrible conditions; political leaders such as Bekele Gerba are jailed.

As the history of many other similar repressive governments has shown, if there is no justice there will be no peace. This is not what Ethiopia needs now. This is not helpful for a country that should attract investment, tourism. The truth is no serious investor will be attracted to pour millions of dollars while the fundamentals in Ethiopia show that political stability is a farfetched illusion.

In general, it appears that the government is resorting back to its usual way of neglecting the peoples demand and repressing any and all forms of descent and peaceful protest. This is a serious mistake that should be condemned by all who wants to see peaceful resolution to the protest in Ethiopia. We at SOCEPP Canada are very concerned that the regimes reluctance to address the peoples demand immediately will lead to further public resentment, protest and instability in the country.

SOCEPP CANADA

 

Ethiopia Undermines Financial Support for Human Rights Groups
Oct 24th, 2016 by Publisher News Group

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

On Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 11:30, Freedom House
<press@freedomhouse.org> wrote:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ethiopia Undermines Financial Support for Human Rights Groups

Washington – October 24, 2016 — In response to Ethiopian security forces disrupting a fundraising event by the country’s most prominent human rights organization, the Human Rights Council (HRCO), Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Authorities’ interference with HRCO’s otherwise orderly event shows the government’s utter disregard for the constitutionally guaranteed right to free assembly,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs. “The government blocking of local fundraising while also effectively barring foreign financial support is part of a campaign to prevent human rights groups from monitoring government actions.”

Background:

On October 23, police and plainclothes security personnel broke up a fundraising event that was organized by HRCO to mark the organization’s 25th year anniversary. HRCO officials had requested and were given permission by authorities to hold the event. Police briefly detained three HRCO officials including the executive director, releasing them after issuing a warning not to criticize the government.

Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2015.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc). Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for ournewsletter.

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The international community must act now: Non action is not in the best interest of Ethiopia and the regional security.
Oct 24th, 2016 by Publisher News Group

SOCEPP-CANADA Editor

October 24, 2016

As has been stated again and again, the instability in Ethiopia will affect not only the 100 million people of Ethiopia but also the entire East Africa region and the international community.

Just see what is happening now, repression and instability in Ethiopia is at its highest in 25 years. The Ethiopian people are indiscriminately being detained; tortured killed etc. with the introduction of the state of emergency, the situation is getting worst by the day. All of this will have push effect and will generate more refugees. If things are not addressed immediately one can expect to see increased level of refugees to begin arriving in the neighboring countries and in Europe etc in the next few months.

As the ruling TPLF/EPRDF’s security forces  becomes too stretched  in its attempt to suppress peaceful protest in the country, it is now forced to pull out of Somalia and Allshebab is using this opportunity to attack and expand its control within Somalia.

The same could also happen in Southern Sudan. There is no question that the TPLF lead government will also be forced to withdraw from other peace keeping missions as the resistance in Ethiopia continues and the government attempts to suppress the protest by force.

Therefore, it is in the best interest of the international community to find a peaceful resolution to the Ethiopian crisis without delay.

Clearly, the protest in Ethiopia shows that return to the statuquo is no more an option. Ethiopians need their full rights to be respected, their dignity fully restored and all of the repression lifted from their shoulder. They want a government that respects them, that protects them not one that kills and terrorize them.

The government should be pressured to release political prisoners immediately, lift the state of emergency, stop further violation of rights throughout the country and engage the opposition and all stake holders in the search for lasting solutions. In our opinion, this is the only thing that could help create peace and stability in Ethiopia.

The international community should pressure the government to do the above immediately. Silence and non action introduces more complexity. Such is not in the best interest of Ethiopians , the region and the international community.

Full Respect of Rights not State of Emergency is the Solution to Ethiopia’s crisis
Oct 22nd, 2016 by Publisher News Group

Full respect of rights not State of Emergency is the solution to Ethiopia’s crisis
The situation in Ethiopia is at a cross road. Years of repression has brought the country in to the current crisis. Intensifying the repression, the government has imposed “state of Emergency “through the country (please see the link below). With such a legal cover, the government is now committing highly disturbing Human Rights violation throughout the country and in particular in the regions of Oromya and Amhara.
Increasingly, Ethiopians and others concerned for Human rights are calling for national dialog as a means to get the country out of its current crisis and move forward with respect of basic Human and Democratic rights and rule of law.
In our opinion, this could be achieved only with full participation of all stake holders. The reality in Ethiopia shows that the political divisions among the elite are very deep. In such environment, a search for political resolution should be an inclusive process. One has to keep in mind that the political alienation that started in 1991 is a major contributor to the current crisis in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia should now take the bold step to begin inclusive democratization. In this process, a back door deal that alienates key stake holders will be unable to produce meaningful result both in the short term but most definitely in the long term.
We urge an immediate all inclusive national dialog, not a continuation of state of emergency, to resolve the current crisis and all outstanding issues. We urge the international community to put the utmost pressure on the ruling group in Ethiopia to accept such
SOCEPP Canada

Ethiopia State of Emergency Directive October 15 2016.pdf

NYTimes.com: Ethiopia Arrests Hundreds of ‘Ringleaders and Bandits’ in Effort to Quell Protests
Oct 21st, 2016 by Publisher News Group

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The Ethiopian authorities said on Thursday they had detained 1,645 people since declaring a state of emergency less than two weeks ago in an effort to quell mass protests and violence.
Around 1,200 of those were described as ringleaders, the rest coordinators, suspects and bandits, in a statement by the government body formed to deal with the unrest.
Ethiopia announced a security crackdown on Oct. 8 amid a wave of attacks on mostly foreign-owned businesses and demonstrations over land and political rights.
The United States and other major donors have raised concerns about the measures, which include dusk (Read More)

Ethiopia ‘detains 1,600’ under state of emergency – BBC News
Oct 20th, 2016 by Publisher News Group

The Ethiopian authorities have detained more than 1,600 people under the state of emergency, a government minister has told the BBC.A statement, quoted by state-affiliated FBC website, lists arrests in the Oromia and Amhara regions, which have recently seen massive demonstrations. This is in addition to Monday’s arrests of 1,000 people near the capital. (Read More)

 

UN chief expresses concern over Ethiopia
Oct 18th, 2016 by Publisher News Group

New York – The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is following developments in Ethiopia with concern after a series of measures under a state of emergency targeted the media and diplomats, his spokesperson said. (Read More)

NDP statement on situation in Ethiopia
Oct 18th, 2016 by Publisher News Group

New Democrats are deeply concerned about the ongoing political and human rights crisis in Ethiopia. The country has been rocked by deadly protests over several months, resulting in the declaration of a six-month state of emergency, beginning October 9th. (Read More)

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