Oct 08, 2010

Oromo: Bekele Jirata Calls For The Release Of All Political Prisoners


Former Secretary General of the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) and Former Prisoner of Conscience under the Ethiopian regime of Meles Zenawi, pleads with Ethiopian government to release detainees. More than 20,000 Oromo political prisoners are suffering in publicly known and secret prisons 


Below is an article published by Gadaa:


The news about UDJ leader’s, Ms. Birtukan Mideksa’s, release from the Kaliti Prison is good news, which is the result of the continuous struggle by her party, supporters and the international community.

Ms. Birtukan was arrested a month and half after the October 2008 massive arrest of Oromo nationals. I was in the Kaliti Prison when she was also brought to the prison. I used to get information about her at that time. I had the information about the construction of a prison cell for Ms. Birtukan alone. She was imprisoned in solitary confinement for some period.

As I mentioned in the above paragraph, the release of Ms. Birtukan is the result of the joint struggle carried out by all justice- and peace-loving people of all creeds. This struggle has to continue until all political prisoners are released. The release of Ms. Birtukan alone can never absolve Prime Minister Meles Zenawi from the crimes he has committed and is still committing against the Oromo people and all humanity in Ethiopia and beyond.

Hundreds of Oromo nationals have been killed, disappeared and imprisoned by PM Meles Zenawi’s regime since it came to power in 1991. These Oromo nationals have faced killings, disappearances and imprisonments without committing any crime – simply because they are Oromos and have refused to join the surrogate, OPDO.

For example, on the eve of the Ethiopian Millennium four years ago, hundreds of Oromo farmers were arrested in East Wollega and West Shoa by the government alleging that they were preparing to disintegrate the country’s peace and stability. At that time, PM Zenawi said to his parliament, “we imprisoned OLF not Oromos,” by which he clearly indicated that those Oromos who had refused to be surrogates must be arrested and imprisoned. This is the only reason why Oromos are suffering under PM Meles Zenawi’s dictatorial regime.

As everyone, I am very happy about the release of Ms. Birtukan Mideksa, and I also congratulate her. At the same time, I call upon the Ethiopian people to double their efforts for the release of those innocent Oromos and other prisoners of conscience. I also appeal again to all human rights organizations and the international community to continue their struggle for the release of all political prisoners suffering under PM Meles Zenawi’s regime, and to continue to expose the crimes against humanity this regime is committing.

Long live the Oromo people and all peace loving people of the world!