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EPRDF members collect signatures opposing Smith’s Bill

August 17, 2013

Members and supporters of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) have started collecting signatures to oppose the decision of U.S. Congressman Chris Smith to introduce a new Human Rights Bill on Ethiopia. Congressman Chris Smith of the Republican Party announced that the ‘Ethiopian Human Rights Act’ would be reintroduced with very serious benchmarks during the “Ethiopia After Meles: The Future of Democracy and Human Rights,” hearing held on June 20, 2013 in the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and Int’l Orgs when Dr. Berhanu Nega, Obang Metho, and Amb. Donald Yamamoto were among those that witnessed.

The members and supporters of the ruling Front have are now sending letters to the Congressman opposing that he invited people that the Ethiopian government labeled “terrorists”. They indicated in their letters that the new Bill could affect the relationship of the two countries, Ethiopia would not change its stand and positions due external pressures and also that he should rather introduce a new Bill which would help the country.

In this “urgent” email message sent to members of the ruling party, it was stressed that if the Bill was passed, it could have grave impact on Ethiopia. Hidase, the group of EPRDF members and supporters executing this scheme, expects to collect around 10,000 signatures and send them to the Congressman.

It is to be recalled that a similar Bill introduced after the 2005 Ethiopian general election had been terminated due to lobbies made by the global law firm DLA Piper.

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