January 24, 2015
For Immediate Release
The Ethiopian People’s Congress for United Struggle (Shengo) has learnt that the ruling TPLF/EPRDF is now intensifying its crackdown on the opposition in Ethiopia. Ahead of the planned demonstration organized by Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ) for tomorrow, January 25, 2015, security forces have now arrested at least four members of the leadership of UDJ including :
- Asrat Abraham , Head of Public Relations
- Selomon Seyoum, Editorial Board member of UDJ’s publication “ the Millions Voice “
- Sintayehu Chekol, Head of the youth Department , UDJ Addis Ababa branch
- Neway Gebeyehu , a Deputy in Public Relations Department of UDJ
The protest demonstrations which are expected to take place in Addis Abeba, Bahirdar, Arbaminch…etc, are organized to protest against the government’s and its election board’s actions to block UDJ and All Ethiopia Unity Party (AEUP) from participating in the May 2015 federal election.
Shengo would like to alert the international community on the escalating government crackdown and possible violence against Ethiopians exercising their legal rights to peaceful protest and freedom of association. In this regard, Shengo would like to ask the international community, particularly the donor countries, to use their leverage and interfere to stop the escalating repression before it is too late.
We also want to put the ruling party on notice to refrain from such violent and anti-democratic practices and to stop all forms of harassment and intimidation immediately.
We express our unequivocal solidarity with political parties as well as the people of Ethiopia who are exercising their basic rights in a peaceful way.