A day devoted to cry for freedom, justice and good governance (Helina Belete)

By Helina Belete

Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), Andenet called a demo for the coming Sunday May 4th aiming to point out the lack of freedom, justice and good governance in Ethiopia. This demonstration is expected to start 9 in the morning form the party’s head office which is found in Kebena Arat Kilo.

According to some of the organizers the demonstration goes far beyond the urge to express concern on lack of water and electricity supply in addition to transportation problems in the capital. Even though, that according to the organizers is an apparent indication of EPRDF’s lack of efficiency to govern the Addis Ababa City.

The question here must not be who calls the demo rather it must be ‘does Ethiopia need this kind of demonstration? Wake up calls?’

At this time when corruption is at its peak and justice is abused to the point where citizens are forced one way or another to relocate form their ancestral land and where citizens are killed and imprisoned only for expressing their views and opinions, Ethiopia for sure needs this kind of demonstrations and wake up calls.

This recent arrest of six bloggers and three freelance journalists just days before the arrival of Secretary of State John Kerry on April 30 2014 as part of a regional human rights tour in Ethiopia, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo shows the continuation of Ethiopian government’s constant oppression of freedom of press.

On a documentary concerning Ethiopian press condition published by Article 19, a London-based human rights organization, under the title “Freedom of expression at risk” most Ethiopian journalists refer to journalism in Ethiopia as ‘a profession that you carry out at the doorstep of a cell or your grave’.

Well we all know from experience that where this kind of demonstration and rallies end in Ethiopia. We all are aware of the facts of all the risks involved when one tries to show discontentment with the government of Ethiopia for whatsoever reasons.  Most peaceful demonstrations end up in violence crack down by the government forces where in most cases peaceful demonstrators end up in jails, or having permanent injuries or even lost their lives. However, it has to start somewhere. One has to stand and cry for the truth if hopefully there ever is an ear to hear.



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