Ethiopia: Rights watchdog calls for release of Merera Gudina and other political prisoners


ESAT News (February 28, 2017)

The Human rights Watch says the Ethiopian regime is using politically motivated charges to crackdown on opposition parties and dissents.

“Instead of taking actions that would demonstrate genuine resolve to address long-term grievances, the government again used politically motivated charges to further crackdown on opposition parties, reinforcing a message that it will not tolerate peaceful dissent,” wrote Felix Horne, senior researcher for the Horn of Africa.

Horne said the recent charges raises serious questions regarding the government’s commitment to “deep reform” and dialogue with the opposition that it had promised to undertake.

“Instead of responding to criticism with yet more repression, the Ethiopian government should release opposition politicians jailed for exercising their basic rights, including Bekele Gerba and Merera gudina. Only then can a meaningful and constructive dialogue with opposition parties take place that can begin to address long-term grievances,” Horne said.

Ethiopian regime prosecutors last week brought criminal charges against  Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), Dr. Merera Gudina, Chairman of Patriotic Ginbot 7 (PG7), Prof. Berhanu Nega and Executive Director of the Oromo Media Network (OMN) Jawar Mohammed as well as two media outlets based abroad, ESAT and OMN.  According to prosecutors, all the accused were involved in “attempts to overthrow the constitutionally formed government.”

The Ethiopian regime routinely use its anti-terror law and state of emergency declared in October to squash any dissent and silence the simmering popular anger against its brutal rule.