“…Welcome But Verify.”
The Ethiopian American Civic Council (EACC) welcomes yesterday’s announcement by the Ethiopian government to free political prisoners, and close a notorious prison known as ‘Makelawi’. It is also an important historical development for the ruling party to correct its long standing claim that there are ‘no political’ prisoner in Ethiopia.
Withstanding this positive step taken, we believe that there are many more thousands of political prisoners currently detained and tortured in underground prison cells away from public scrutiny. In addition the government’s long standing record of deceit and falsifications have exhausted the public trust to fully appreciate the announcement.
In the last 4 years, the Ethiopian people have risen to claim their inherent dignity for their equal and inalienable rights as full citizens of the country. Today’s political reality in Ethiopia is therefore born out of the insatiable thirst for their individual right to life, liberty and security.
As an integral part of the human right struggle, the Ethiopian American Civic Council (EACC) together with various diaspora civic organizations has joined to end the savage repression of the great majority of the Ethiopian people. Subsequently, EACC has taken a leadership role in advancing House Resolution 128 – Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia. As this important legislative advances through congress, it highlights an important provision calling the government of Ethiopia:
(D) release dissidents, activists, and journalists who have been imprisoned, including those arrested for reporting about the protests, for exercising constitutional rights;
(J- iii) repeal proclamations that—allow for the arrest and detention of peaceful protesters and political opponents who legally exercise their rights to freedom of expression and association;
Although Ethiopian American civic council (EACC) welcomes yesterday’s announcement which in part addresses the core demanded of HR 128, it calls for independent verification to account for all prisoners detained in the country. To fully take into account, therefore, we believe such undertaking should be conducted by internationally recognized organizations.
Long Live Ethiopia!
Ethiopian American Civic Council (EACC)
January 4, 2018