[dehai-news] ST: Ethiopia: opposition confirms arrest of 94 people, urges swift action


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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Sun Nov 16 2008 - 06:46:34 EST


Ethiopia: opposition confirms arrest of 94 people, urges swift action
      Sunday 16 November 2008 03:00.

November 15, 2008 (ADDIS ABABA) — Ethiopian authorities arbitrarily arrested 94 opposition members and Oromo nationals in different towns of Ormiya region but mainly in the capital Addis Ababa, confirmed two oppositions parties today.

Recently the Oromo Parliamentarians Council in a joint statement said that Meles-led government has put under unlawful detention to more than 100 Oromo’s of different background using the pretext of supporting the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) as of October 30, 2008.

The council also said it has received the list of some of the arrested Oromos including university lecturers and opposition members who has been detained over twice in the past, and tortured to the level of disability.

Two Oromo opposition parties, The Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) and the Oromo Peoples Congress party confirmed the mass arrest of opposition members and Oromo nationals in different town of Ormiya region mainly in the capital, Addis Ababa.

“So far we have confirmed the illegal arrest of 94 Oromo nationals including our opposition members” Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement chairman Bulcha Demeksa told Sudan Tribune.

Bulcha says what going on now is an attempt to jeopardize Oroms people political movement in such away and close their legal political institutions by such means” he further said

"Few says ago our parties higher representative was illegal snatched by government agents from his friend’s car out side Addis in the highways of Nazeret ,south of Addis & kept in Jail for hours received threats as well" he Added

There are unconfirmed source putting the number of detained Oromos to at least 200

"Though we couldn’t confirm it at this point, medias are putting the figure to over 200" says Merarra Gudina, Oromo Peoples Congress party’s chairman but says the report is likely and has no surprise.

"It is very easy to illegal arrest any Oromo national" Merarra said adding “If you are an Oromo ethnic and you don’t support or oppose the ruling government in a way then you are considered as illegal and linked to “terrorists” like Oromo Liberation Front so you are always in the hunt list by government agents”

The Oromo Parliamentarians statement called on the international community to take action in no time.

"It is the high time for all the concerned body to interfere in the gross human right violation against the Oromos from all walks of life and secure their constitutional freedom," it said

The opposition board urged a number of governments, international institutions and human rights organisations as: European Parliament, European Commission, USA, AU, UK and the human right groups Amnesty International, Human Right Watch, International Red Cross, UNPO, UNHCR "to speak up on the injustice carried against the Oromo people for being Oromo alone by the Meles Zenawi government."

Recently, Ethiopian authorities warned of a possible terrorist attack and urged citizens to collaborate with security forces. The caution has led into the arrest of a number of suspects including opposition members.

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