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Measure Brings To Light Ethiopian Government Officials Bash On Protesting Using Anti-Terrorism Proclamation

European Union’s only directed-elected body European Parliament and its 751 members recently discussed and approved a powerful motion based on Ethiopia’s present situation.

The motion involved Oromo protests report that has affected all areas of the nation, the commonly used Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to suppress mild condemnation, and the universal exploitation and uprooting of millions of Ethiopians, all for the sake of development.

According to European parliament member Ana Gomez, the resolution was accepted with no amendments by seven groups, noting that the extreme right wing was the only group to dissent.  The motion was authored by over 60 EU Parliament members, and is a troubling frequency of the human right abuses the government is committing on citizens.

Huge Predicament In Play

According to the motion, the Oromo protests is the largest predicament to strike the nation since the election violence in 2005. It noted that security forces have used lethal force, killing about 140 protestors and injured hundreds more. It alleges Ethiopian authorities were arresting several peaceful protestors, opposition party leaders and journalists to suppress the protests going on in the Oromiya Region. The motion said people arrested could be tortured.

It also mentions Bekele Gerba’s arrest on Dec. 23. Gerba is an Oromo Federalist Congress deputy chairman. OFC is the area’s biggest legally-registered political party.  Gerba was taken to prison well-known for its ill-treatment practices and was hospitalized shortly thereafter. According to the motion, his whereabouts are not known.

The government has deemed peaceful protestors as being terrorists and sending military forces to fight against them. It also connects the present protests with the bloody April and May 2014 events, where federal forces killed dozens of peaceful protestors, hundreds of students were taken into custody and still some remain in jail.

Addis Standard, a diplomat working at the Addis Abeba EU member state embassy, said the measure was rather straightforward and the most powerful thus far detailing the country’s present circumstances. Another anonymous diplomat spoke about the issue, saying various embassy reports detail Ethiopia’s fragility.

The measure places blame on the government who accesses people – bloggers, journalists, students, activists, etc. – of terrorism even if they have a criticism, prosecuting them under the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.

During the May 2015 elections, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front won every single parliamentary seat (547). The measure read that a lack of allowance of dissenting voices for the election process, the elections were held under intimidation.

The measure, however, noted the country likes getting political support from regional neighbors and western donors because of its role as host for African Union and involvement in UN diplomacy, safekeeping and help partnerships with those countries. Nearly $3 billion is given to Ethiopia – more than the other African counties. However, the current situation is causing instability, lack of development and security risks.

Something Must Be Done

The measure, taking into consideration the government’s violations on human rights, had a 15-point recommendation that involved a call for the EU to implement monitor programs and policies that didn’t add to the already numerous human rights violations.  It also condemned the excessive force security has been using such as the instance in Oromiya.

The measure asked for an instant release of those who had been jailed for their “peaceful protesting”, and asking the government to do an impartial investigation of those who were killed and other alleged human rights violations connected to the protest movement. The measure urged the government suggested the UN Special Rapporteur visit the country to make a report about the situation.

Will the Ethiopian government do all this?

Time will tell!

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