- Posted January 12, 2013 by
Protest Rally to Free Oromo Political Prisoners on January 25, 2013 in Washington, DC
Jointly Organized by the Oromo Studies Association (OSA), the Oromo Community Organization (OCO) of Washington D.C. area, and Oromo Youth Self-Help Association (OYSA)
The government of Ethiopia has continued its widespread harassment, arrest, killing, kidnapping and disappearance, accusing, convicting and sentencing to life and long-term prison of Oromo nationals under fabricated charges. To cite few of the most recent examples:
1. On November 1, 2012, two well-respected Oromo opposition leaders, Mr. Bekele Gerba and Mr. Olbana Lellisa, and seven other Oromo nationals were convicted under the charge of “working underground to secede Oromia from the federal government” and other bogus charges after keeping them in prison for more than one year in jail.
2. On September 30, 2012, more than 200 Oromo nationals, mostly the youth, have been rounded up and arrested when they were peacefully celebrating the annual Irreechaa festival at Lake Arsadi, Bushoftu, Eastern Shoa zone. Two months after their arrest, they are still held without any change.
3. On April 6, 2012, at least four Oromo Muslims: Musa Gabi, Kemal Irena, Aliyi Wako, and Shafi Jano were gunned down in the town of Asasa, Oromia, when the government forces fired live ammunition on unarmed civilians coming out of the local mosque.
4. Harassment of our Muslim community has continued unabated:
- More than 30 Muslim leaders are put in Maikelawi Prison and facing the same fabricated charges,
- Thousands of Muslims, mainly Oromos, have been beaten and rounded up and incarcerated merely for demanding their religious freedom enshrined in the Constitution.
- On October 21, 2012, at least three Muslims; Said Abdala, Abdu Oda, and Hussein, were murdered by the Federal Police in Garba town, Wallo. Several others were beaten and wounded and many others arrested.
These are few of the recent examples of the rampant human rights violations of the Ethiopian regime perpetrated on the Oromo, and other oppressed nations and nationalities, demanding their lawful rights. Overall, it is estimated that more than 20,000 Oromo nationals languish in prison at any given moment over the last 20 or so years of the EPRDF rule.
To bring these abuses to the attention of the US public and decision-makers, the Oromo Studies Association (OSA), the Oromo Community Organization (OCO) of Washington D.C. area, and the Oromo Youth Self-Help Association have jointly organized a protest in Washington D.C. We call all Oromo nationals and friends of the Oromo living in and around Washington D.C. metropolitan area to participate in this peaceful demonstration. Let’s get together, stand in unison and speak on behalf of those whose voices have been unjustly silenced.
Protest Date: Friday, January 25, 2013
Protest Time: 8:30AM – 12:00 noon
Protest Place: US State Department, 2201 C Street Northwest, Washington, D.C. 20520
Oromo Community Organization, Washington D.C. (Tel. 202 234 1151)
Oromo Youth Self-help Association, Washington D.C. (Tel. 202 705 6585)