December 2, 2013

Oromo: Brutal And Repressive Anti-Terror Law In Ethiopia

The Oromo Liberation Front denounces that political dissidents are arbitrarily arrested and detained, and suffer severe human rights violations, and calls upon the international community to help end this situation. 

Below is a press release by the Oromo Liberation Front:

The research and information unit of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) has conducted a study on the allegiance that accounted for some political prisoners to be sentenced or otherwise been unjustly detained. The herewith attached partial list of political prisoners has been collected from prisons of Kaliti, Torhailoch (Military Police Prison), Maikelawi and Kilinto. Almost all prisoners are charged for act of terror, violation of territorial integrity, attempts to overthrow the constitutional order by violent means and being suspected member of OLF or any other organizations. These political prisoners are ranging in age from young high school and University students to elderly civic society leaders. Professionally, they are also diverse – from farmers, businessmen, government employees, political leaders, journalists and etc. The overwhelming portions are Oromos and some are also from different nations and nationalities of Ethiopia.

Most of these political prisoners already gave prison service for several years; many of them are tortured and subjected to irreversible mental damages, and some of them were shot to death in the course of time.

Since the fall of Transitional Government in 1992, Ethiopian authorities continued to severely restrict basic rights of freedom of expression, association, and assembly. Violation of human rights is a daily record of the regime. Instead of solving the root cause of political conflict, it rather declared war on the Oromo people and its vanguard Organisation, the OLF. Consequently, many thousands of Oromos and other nationals were arbitrarily arrested and detained and remain at risk of torture, ill-treatment and extrajudicial killings. Many of them were executed during peaceful demonstrations due to excessive use of force by police or security agents.

The TPLF regime promulgated and adopted the restrictive Anti-Terrorism Proclamation in 2009. This regime, which from its very initial, was known for its massive human rights violations is currently using this law to justify all atrocities it conducted. In this attempt to hood wink opinions of the international community, the EPRDF regime is still trying to make others believe that the current problem of the empire is act of terror but not deep rooted political conflict of domination.

The OLF vehemently opposes any forms of terrorism and reject the use of terrorism neither as a form of struggle nor also for suppression of dissidents by states. Thus, we denounce the Ethiopian state terrorism that is used to crush any form of struggle and decent.

OLF is cognizant of, and appreciate the concern of various human rights advocating organizations and some democratic governments that expressed their concerns about Anti-Terrorism, Press and Civic society laws of Ethiopia on various international forums.

In a country like Ethiopia where the government structure is monopolized by a single ethnic group, legalizing the abuse of the universal human rights is a way that leads for the establishment of a totalitarian system which is more sustaining than a simple personal dictatorship. Therefore, OLF alarms that the dangerous political development sustaining over Ethiopia demands more than just a concern but towards a proactive action of the international communities and UN member states. We denounce legalized form of state terrorism and call up on the international community to exert diplomatic pressure on Ethiopian government to release all political prisoners unconditionally and repeal these brutal and repressive laws.

Victory to the Oromo People!

Oromo Liberation Front

December 2, 2013