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The 44th Canadian Parliament 1st Session hearing on current situation in Tigray

A CASE FILED AGAINST THE  Sub-committee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (SDIR), 44th Parliament 1st Session hearing on current situation in Tigray  AND held at the House of Commons-197 Spark Street, Room# 415 Wellington Building, Ottawa, Canada

Dear Sir/Madam,

Today Friday, October 28, 2022, I had the privilege of attending the Sub-committee on International Human Rights Hearing Re: The Northern Ethiopia conflict as a witness for the first time.

I went into the meeting with high hopes and expectations to see and hear a non-partisan, balanced and neutral rendition of facts and realities. I am afraid to tell you that rather than giving testimony and a witness account to the situation in Ethiopia’s conflict, I witnessed a premeditated and doctored hearing biased towards a certain group. I have never expected to witness such an unfair and unbalanced hearing from the committee.

From the outset of the meeting, a motion moved by one of the members of the Committee trying to discredit and even adjourn the meeting was insulting and uncalled for.  I entered the people’s chamber of the commons committee hoping to be questioned and provide a witness account. Unfortunately, no question was directed towards me, presumably due to time constraints(?). Yet the committee seemed to be not constrained with time to ask questions to each and every member of the panelist in the other camp. In my view this is outright bias and partisan where one group was treated in kids’ gloves and the other with a stick.

 

If the august committee is so concerned about human rights to all, I would expect the committee to show equal concern and raise question on atrocities, rape and crimes against humanity committed against the Amhara and Afar civilians perpetrated by TPLF and its accomplices. Cognizant that the committee is fully knowledgeable of TPLF’s despicable acts of human rights violations in Amhara, Afar regions and in other parts of Ethiopia during the last two years and during the time it ruled the country for three decades they would have sought witness clarification as well.

 

If the committee was interested to hear what it wanted to hear and from whom it wanted to hear, then my group should not have been invited in the first place. It is unfortunate that my hopes and expectations of a fair and transparent hearing vanished in thin air. I must say that it is my first appearance in the House of Commons and my first impression of the proceeding was a disappointment. It was clear that the hearing was partisan from the get-go.

 

I would request the committee to exclusively organize another human rights hearing to hear and witness the agony and human rights abuses perpetrated on Amhara and Afar civilians; the rape and torture of mothers and children in the two regions committed by the TPLF. I bet you the horrendous crimes and genocides committed against Amhara and Afar region by the invading TPLF forces is more gruesome than the ones you heard in today’s meeting. It is my fervent hope that the House of Commons will give a chance to hear the story of the Amaras and Afars.

 

I will conclude by the late Emperor Haile Selassie-I speech at the League of Nations “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”

Thank you for hearing my frustration.

Semaneh Jemere

V/president ECNAS Ottawa Chapter, October 28, 2022

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