“Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality. If you’re a man, you take it”
By Abenezer Aregawi
Ethiopia is one of the oldest and ancient countries in the world with more than 3000 years history. It’s the origin of human beings and the cradle and early home of civilization and technologies. Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic nation consists of more than 80 different ethnic groups with their distinct culture, religion, believes, languages, and many other peculiarities and identity. The country is greatly known for religious tolerance. The Christian and Muslim religion, the dominant religions in Ethiopia, have been living in peaceful co-existence for centuries. Although Christianity existed in Ethiopia long time before, it’s well known when it was declared as the state religion in the 4th century in 330 AD. The first time in the Ethiopian history the religion of Islam came to Ethiopia in the 7th century in 615 AD at the time of the Axumite Empire as immigrants from Mecca persecuted by the ruling Quraysh tribe. They were welcomed by the Christian community. Ethiopia is also the best known place for its favorable climate…. 13th months of sunshine and enormous amount of
natural resources even though the country is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Despite the fact that the country has a long history; the human and democratic rights of the Ethiopian people is disregarded by all rulers still today. But even if there were deprivation of those basic and fundamental or inalienable rights at the time of the previous rulers, they keep the sovereignty of the country fighting with foreign aggressors and internal rebellion groups at different time. They paid great sacrifice to keep the sovereignty and the national flag of the country. The main agenda of this article isn’t to explain what happened in the past rather to indicate how the violations of human and democratic rights boost up under the current regime, Ethiopian People Revolutionary Party ((EPRDF)/TPLF (Tigrean People’s Liberation Front)).
The current regime established fake federal and democratic state structure as stipulated under Article 1 of 1995 Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) constitution. The FDRE is the signatory of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and many other major international treaties. According to the FDRE constitution article 9 and 13 all international agreements ratified by Ethiopia are part and
parcel of the law. All international treaties are integrated as part of the law of the land as soon as ratified by Ethiopia.
While Ethiopia ratified and adopted many provisions of international treaties in to its 1995 FDRE constitution, the government is violating those rights. The government abuses the democratic and human rights of the Ethiopian people enshrined under FDRE constitution. These includes the following from the list; the right to life, (Article 6 of ICCPR, Article 3 of UDHR, Article 15 of FDRE constitution), no one shall be subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 7 of ICCPR, Article 5 of UDHR, Article 18 of FDRE constitution), right to liberty (Article 9 of ICCPR, Article 9 of UDHR, Article 17 FDRE constitution), freedom of movement and the right to chose place of residence (Article 12 of ICCPR, Article 13 UDHR, Article 32 of FDRE constitution), equality before court and tribunal (Article 14 of ICCPR, Article 10 of UDHR, Article 20 of FDRE constitution), the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Article 18 of ICCPR, Article 18 of UDHR, Article 27 of FDRE constitution), the right to freedom of expression (Article 19 of ICCPR, Article 19 of UDHR, Article 29 of FDRE constitution), the right to association with others including the right to form and join trade union (Article 22 of ICCPR, Article 8 of ICESCR, Article 31 of FDRE constitution)
Even though the current dictatorial regime, weyanna/EPRDF/TPLF, ratify and adopt international treaties, adopt its own law, rule or regulations they are the one
who break the law. These law, rule and regulations have only paper value in Ethiopia. The government used this paper to attract the international community for purpose of getting aid and loans. The current government of Ethiopia is very concerned about its image in the international donor community, especially with the Westerners, World Bank and the United States that all persecution is carried out in a very secret way. They don’t do it openly like the Derg Regime. That is what the weyanna regime makes it different from the brutal and Dictator Derg Regime.
Torture, killing, beating, humiliation, detention, harassment are the day to day activity of the weyanna regime. People are killed, tortured and sent to prison the mere fact that they are suspect of their opposing political attitude or collaboration with opposition political party. Oromo people are always humiliated, harassed, detained by the current regime suspecting them as the supporter of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Ogaden people are facing the same kind of charge because of the Ogaden rebel group Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). Amhara, Sidama, Guraghe, and others are also treated inhuman way by attaching them with different political parties. Restriction on freedom of speech and the press result the arrest, detention, and harassment of journalists. Many journalists are forced to exile from their mother land. Opposition political party leaders and supporters are abused and intimidated by the tyrant regime. Even though the Ethiopian FDRE constitution under Article 18 prohibits
the use of torture and inhuman treatment, the security officials like federal police and the military mistreat all people.
Amhara ethnic people residing at Gurafereda Wereda in the Southern Nation Nationality and People (SNNP) are forced to leave their property and land after relocated by the government long time before without compensation by the government ethnic cleansing program. This has started a year ago and enforcing it still today. 2.4 Million Amharas missing in the 2007 population census. How many Amharas missing after 2007 still today? What about the other ethnic group? Arbitrary or unlawful Deprivation of life, disappearance, torture, and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, detention of innocent individual and fair public trial are becoming worst than ever.
The tyrant regime always accuses and detain in prison opposition political leaders and supporters, journalist and bloggers, and Medias. Most of them are accused by attaching them with Ginbot 7, ONLF and OLF without any tangible evidences. Even if the FDRE constitution under Article 78 stipulates independence of the judiciary, in practice the court is under the control of the existed regime, the court judgment against the accused without any evidence the mere fact that the accused is suspected of his opposing political view. The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty (Article 20(3) of FDRE constitution, doesn’t work for weyanna. That is why
they manufacture AKELDAMA movie at the time when Artist Debebe Eshetu and others accused and while the trial is proceeding.
Weyanna ratified and came in to force Anti-Terrorist Proclamation in 2009 (Anti-Terrorist Proclamation No 652/2009) to accuse and convict Ethiopian opposition party leaders and supporters and journalists and any Ethiopian who isn’t member of EPRDF/TPLF. After that a lot of Ethiopian hero and nationalist are accused and convicted. Among those charges, the charge of Journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega, Andualem Arage and other 22 journalists and opposition political leaders and supporters is the one. The Ethiopian Federal High Court sentences them from eight (8) to eighteen (18) years and life imprisonment. Based on this Andualem Arage is sentenced to life in prison, Eskinder Nega sentenced to 18 years, and 12 others are tried in absentia includes Fasil Yenealem, Dr. Birhanu Nega and Andargachew Tsige are sentenced to life in prison, Abiy Teklemariam and Mesfin Negash are sentenced of 8 years in prison, Abebe Belew, Abebe Gelaw, Neamin Zeleke, Mesfin Aman each sentenced 15 years in prison, Obang Meto, Zelelegn Tsegaselasie, Wube Robe are convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison. All the above stated people are innocent and patriot for all Ethiopian people.
Ethiopian Muslims are demanding their constitutional for long period of time in peaceful way. But the current regime accused
the peaceful demonstrators and their representatives as terrorist. 17 members of their leaders and thousands of Muslims are sent to prison. They choose and made absolute peaceful struggle so far though the government accuse them of terrorism. By violating their constitutional right stipulated under Article 27 OF FDRE constitution, the government interferes in their religion. The government doesn’t have the right to interfere in their religion (Article 11 of FDRE constitution). The government wants to expand Al-Ahbash in Ethiopia.
Currently the member and supporter of the opposition party house or shelter and property in Addis Abeba and other regions are confiscated, looted by the weyanna cadres. Many houses are destructed without compensation and the consent of the owner in Addis Abeba in the pretext of development.
Generally, even though the existed tyrant regime in Ethiopia EPRDF/TPLF ratifies and adopts international treaties and draft new laws, it doesn’t have any effect. The law, rules and regulation of the country are broken by the weyanna cadres themselves. They are law breaker. They are terrorizing the Ethiopian people. The 2009 Anti-terrorist Proclamation in Ethiopia is adopted to convict Ethiopian political party leader and supporters and journalists. The Muslim community demand of religious right isn’t answered yet. The Christian religion church and monasteries are burned by the ruling
party cadres. Monks are forced to exile from their monastery. Overall the constitutional human and democratic rights of all Ethiopian people are violated by the current tyrant regime. Right now their inhuman treatment is getting harsh than ever. Massacre of Amhara people continued in the Gurafereda Wereda in SNNPR like they did before in Ogaden, Oromiya, Amhara (2.4 Million Amhara missing), Sidama,,,, etc. Human and Democratic Rights violation or abuse are boost up that action need to be taken immediately. All Ethiopian people need to stand together in unison regardless of their opinion, view or political difference. All difference we had needs to be taken aside until we bring freedom, democracy and justice in Ethiopia and establish independent judiciary.
Let us be a man! I said Enough is Enough!
God bless Ethiopia!
You can reach the writer at: [email protected]