Home | Press Releases    Sunday 15 April 2007

Ethiopian MP calls for intl probe on human rights situation in Oromia

April 12, 2007

To: European Union, UNO, USA Congress, Human Rights Watches, Amnesty
International, ICRC, and UNHCR.

Dear Sirs:

I am writing you behalf of the Oromo Parliamentary Group. The Oromo
Parliamentary Group (OPG) is made up of Oromo members of Ethiopia federal
parliament and the parliament of the regional sate of Oromia and as
representative of Oromo people and Ethiopian people as whole.
We had high hopes and aspiration that by participating in the legal
political forum of Ethiopia we would contribute to the democratisation
process and bring stability, peace and development. It was with strong
belief that the constitution will be respected and supremacy of law will
prevail, that we decided to join the legal political system.

Following assurances by the international community, particularly the
European Union and USA government. We took this courageous decision of
trying to secure the legitimate rights of our suffering population through
the ballot box mostly because of the urging of the international community.

Although we were discouraged by the experience of gross violations of human
rights that we witnessed on the ground, we belied the advice of the
international community that participation in the legal political process
offered the best way to win the rights of our population who have been
facing massive violations of human rights.

Our hope was that we would be able to use our presence and position in the
parliament to speak against violations of the political, economic, and
social rights of our population. Although many of the ordinary citizens who
spoke against these violations ended up in detention, where they routinely
faced torture, we believed our parliamentary immunity would spare us from
facing a similar fate. Today, there is no peace, stability, democracy and
rule of law in Ethiopia. The regime carried out mass killing of civilians,
thousands are detained for long period without charges and tortured, tens of
thousands are forced to flee their country fearing harassment and
intimidation. An elected member of the federal parliament was killed in Arsi
Nagell, the others are tortured, and 10 of Oromo parliamentarians are forced
to flee the country Dr. Getachew Jigi, Abiyot Kabada, Tshome Badhasa,
Gizanyi Baqala, Tafara Legasa, Caala Baqala, Labata Fufa, Siraji Husen,
Akasa Keesi, Ms. Sara Mamo.

The international community that gave us assurances to partake in the
election is today not ready to defend us now when we are clearly become
victim of so called democracy. Our families live under constant terror.

Having no means to provide them the support they need, with out any defence
from world community for there lives. As a result the millions of voters who
voted us into parliament and tens millions our supporters are being
disenfranchised. The people in Ethiopia believed in Western pronouncements
about respect for human rights, democracy, good governance, and
accountability. But as these ideals are flagrantly violated in broad
daylight, the international community remains silent.

I am appeal to you to kindly request your assistance in facilitating the
holding of a hearing at the European Union, UNO, USA congress, Human Rights
Watches, Amnesty international to look into the desperate situation of Oromo
parliamentarians and the human rights situation in Ethiopia in general and in Oromia regional state in particular. It is my sincere hope our appeal will be favourably received.

Sincerely,

Dr. Getachew Jigi Demeksa
MP, Chairman of Oromo Parliamentary Group