If judicial institutions are to cease serving regimes as instruments of oppression in Ethiopia there is no alternative to removing TPLF/EPRDF from power through peaceful and legal means.
A press statement issued by Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ)
The court that was handling the case of Andualem Aragie et al has, at its sitting of June 27, 2012, handed down a verdict of guilty on all of the accused. The court has finally put down in writing what Prime Minister Meles has been saying all along in public on the guiltiness of the prisoners. The decision of the court is of no value other than demonstrating, in no uncertain ways, that courts in our country have become devoid of the elements of freedom and independence. The decision has given a further proof to the strong popular conviction that courts would not be free and independent as long as TPLF/EPRDF remains in power.
It is ascertained once more, that the present regime is using judicial institutions as weapons of offense against political activists without shame and with impunity. It also shows clearly the fate of future heroes who dare to struggle for freedom and democracy to prevail in this country. Furthermore, it is clearly demonstrated that TPLF/EPRDF is incapable of tolerance and of handling differences in a civilized manner. This grossly unjust decision shall be remembered as one of the most repulsive and shameful decisions in the history of the rule of the TPLF/EPRDF regime. UDJ believes that the arguments, documents and the witnesses lists of the prosecutors, as well as the defense records of the accused should be preserved as historic records to be re-examined by history under a just system.
TPLF/EPRDF had two objectives when it imprisoned the peaceful activists on September 14, 2011. The first objective was to stifle the popular struggle by imprisoning young activists. The second objective aimed at plunging the youth, the dynamic power behind the struggle, into a state of fear so that they would not be in a position to join hands and push the struggle forward. The elaboration of the court on its decision demonstrate this clearly.
What we see on the ground is that, despite the repression, the people’s struggle is producing young activists in the thousands. The demand for justice, equality, democracy and respect of human rights that young activists like Anduale, Natnael, Eskindir and others have raised is getting ever stronger and surging forward. On the hand, it is becoming more and more obvious that the champions of freedom are growing stronger while the downward journey of the ruling regime is on the acceleration.
Recently, information has leaked indicating that UDJ members are about to be rounded up thrown into the Kaliti jail under the pretext of terrorism charges. What TPLF/EPRDF has failed to understand is this bitter truth: the desire for change deeply rooted in the hearts of the people has reached a stage where it cannot be reversed by repression and imprisonment.
The world has seen many dictatorial regimes but, in the end, they have all fallen a fall of shame. It is becoming more and clearer that, given the repressive path that TPLF/EPRDF is pursuing, its downfall is inevitable.
UDJ/MEDREK, fully aware of the fact that the present regime is creating havoc in our day to day life, is calling upon he people to join the struggle for a common cause. Ethiopians around the world are hereby being called upon to stand behind UDJ/MEDREK in the peaceful and legal struggle that is being waged to bring down the dictatorial regime ruling our country. The International Community also is called upon to realize that it is being used as crutch by the ruling regime and to give support to the struggle for freedom and democracy for which the Ethiopian people are waging.
UDJ/MEDREK is now fully convinced that there is no alternative but to intensify the peaceful and legal struggle to remove from power the narrow-minded and corruption- plagued TPLF/EPRDF regime. Members of UDJ/MEDREK are ready to pay with pride whatever sacrifice is required to push this cause forward.
The sacrifice that is being paid by Andualem et al shall always be remembered in history.
Long live Ethiopia!
Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ)
June 28, 2012