The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa condemns use of anti-terrorism law against Oromo political opponents

ESAT News (May 3, 2016)

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) said in a statement on Tuesday that it strongly condemns “the TPLF/EPRDF Government’s endless manipulations of the justice system to its own political ends – which was once again manifested in the fully fabricated allegations and charges filed against 22 (twenty-two) Oromo nationals.”

“It surprised no one that the TPLF/EPRDF Government, as usual, used the infamous legal tool of the Anti-Terrorism Law, as a result of which thousands of innocent Oromos and other nationals have been victimized, to arrest, detain and take to court another batch of Oromo activists,” the statement from the League said.

According to documents obtained by HRLHA, the 22 Oromo nationals, including top political leaders of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) party, such as Mr. Bekele Gerba (Deputy Chairman), Mr. Dejene Tafa (Deputy Secretary General), Addisu Bulala and others have been charged with allegedly conspiring to overthrow the government by means of instigating a public revolt and protests as well as collaborating with another political organization called the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

The HRLHA said it has ample documents that hundreds of thousands of innocent Oromos and members of other nationalities have already fallen victims of such injustices and dictatorship committed particularly using this Anti-Terrorism Law, described by some as “a tool to stifle dissent,” as a legal weapon.

The HRLHA called upon the Ethiopian Government to unconditionally release of the Oromo nationals. HRLHA also called upon the international community to condemn the Ethiopian Government’s acts of injustices against innocent citizens, and to request that these unjustly detained and falsely charged Oromos be freed unconditionally.