Sunday, September 7, 2014

Ethiopia: A Generation at Risk, Plight of Oromo Students

HRLHA FineHRLHA Urgent Action
September 06, 2014
The human rights abuses against Oromo Students in different universities have continued unabated over the past six months- more than a hundred Oromo students were extra-judicially wounded or killed, while thousands were jailed by a special squad: the “Agazi” force
This harsh crackdown against the Oromo students, which resulted in deaths, arrests, detentions and disappearances, happened following a peaceful protest by the Oromo students and the Oromo people  in April -  May  2014 against  the so-called  “Integrated Master Plan of Addis Ababa”. This plan was targeted at the annexation of many small towns of Oromia to the capital Addis Ababa. It would have meant the eviction of around six million Oromos from their lands and long-time livelihoods without being consulted or giving consent. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) has repeatedly expressed its deep concern about such human rights violations against the Oromo nation by the EPRDF government[1]
The HRLHA reporter in Addis Ababa confirmed that in connection with the April-May, 2014 peaceful protests among the many students picked from different universities and other places in the regional State of Oromia and  detained in Maikelawi /”the Ethiopian Guantanamo bay Detention camp” ,the following nine students and another four, Abdi Kamal, TofiK Kamal and Abdusamad   business men from Eastern Hararge Dirre Dawa town and Chaltu Duguma (F) an employee of Wallaga Universty    are in critical condition due to the continuous severe torture inflicted upon them in the past five months.
1Lenjisa AlamayoMStudentJimma University
2Tamire BekeleMStudentJima University
3Gemechu BekeleMStudentJima University
4Nimona ChaliMStudentHaromaya University
5Magarsa BekeleMStudentHaromaya university
6Abebe UrgessaMStudentHaromaya University
7Bilisuma GonfaMStudentHaromaya University
8Adugna KessoMStudentAdama University
9Bilisuma DamanaMStudentAdama University
The current ongoing arrests and detention of Oromo students started when the students were forced to attend a “political training” said to be a government plan to indoctrinate the students with the political agenda of EPRDF for two weeks before the regular classes started in mid- September 2014. Before the training started, students demanded that the government release the students who were imprisoned during the peaceful protests of April-May 2014.  Instead of giving a positive answer to the students’ legitimate questions, the federal government deployed its military forces to Ambo and Wallaga University campuses to silence their voices; many students were severely beaten and hundreds were taken to prison from August 20-29, 2014. Through the brutality of the federal government’s military “Agazi”, students from Ambo University,  Hinaafu Lammaa, Kuma Fayisa, Tarreessaa  Waaqummaa Mulugeta, Sukkaaraa Cimidi, Leensa Hailu Bedhane (F) and Elizabeth Legesse (lost her two tooth) were among those harshly beaten in their dormitories and then thrown outside naked in the open air.
The HRLHA reporter documented the following names among hundreds of students taken to different detention centers from both Ambo and Wallaga Universities on August 28 &29, 2014.
1Hunde Firisa WarkuMStudentWallaga University
2Mitiku AnbeseMstudentWallega Univrsity
3Gemechu Bely mekonenMStudentWallega University
4Anbessa AyeleMStudentAdama University
5Zerun Yewalun wandimuMstudentDilla University
6Nagara FiqaduMStudentAA University
7Gurmessa Wondimu ItichaMStudentMada Walabu University
8Temesgen ShiferawMStudentWallaga University
9Gaddisa DamanaMStudentAdama University
l10Endale IrranaaMStudentWallaga University
11Alamayyo SoriMStudentSamara University
12Fikiru RafisaMStudentMekele University
13Firaol BekeleMStudentMekele University
14Birhanu NiguseMStudentAdigrat University
15Chali AnugnaMStudent
16Firaol KelbessaMStudent
17Habtamu WirtuMStudent
18Gizacho MargaMStudent
19Abdi TesfayeMStudent
Among many Wallaga University students, those who were severely beaten on 28/08/2014- Markos Taye, Ganati Desta and Mosisa fufa- were first taken to Nekemte Hospital and later transferred to Tikur Anbasa, a hospital in the capital city more than 300km away for further treatment. They remain there  in critical condition.
The most recent report (Sept 03,2014) received by HRLHA from Ambo town indicates that more than 250 students released from Senkele detention center have been taken back to their villages so that their parents of guardians can sign documents stating that their children are responsible for the conflict created between the students and the federal military. The parents of the students rejected the attempt of the government to make their children guilty by supporting, instead, the demands of the students “Free our friends, bring the killers of the students to court”
By killing, torturing and detaining non-violent protesters, the government of Ethiopia is breaching:
  1. The 1995 constitution of the Ethiopia, articles 29 and 30, which grant basic democratic rights to all Ethiopian citizens[2].
  2.  All international and regional human rights instruments that Ethiopia signed and the UN Human Rights council 19th[3] and 25th[4] sessions resolutions that call upon states, with regard to peaceful protests, to  promote and protect all human rights and  to prevent all human rights violations during peaceful protests.
Therefore, the HRLHA calls upon the Ethiopian Government to refrain from systematically eliminating the young generation of Oromo nationals and respect all international human rights standards, and all civil and political rights of citizens it has signed off in particular.
HRLHA also calls upon governments of the West, all local, regional and international human rights agencies to join hands and demand an immediate halt to such kinds of extra-judicial actions against one’s own citizens. Detainees should be released without any preconditions and the murderers should brought to justice. .
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its appropriate government ministries and/or officials as swiftly as possible, both in English and Ahmaric, or in your own language:
  • Expressing concerns regarding the apprehension and possible torture of citizens who are being held in different detention centers including the infamous Ma’ikelawi Central Investigation Office, and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;
  • Request that the government refrain from detaining, harassing, discriminating against Oromo Nationals
  • Urging the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that detainees are treated in accordance with the regional and international standards regarding the treatment of prisoners
  • Also send your concerns to diplomatic representatives in Ethiopia who are accredited to your country.
Mailed To:
• Office of Prime Minister of Ethiopia
P.O.Box – 1031 , Addis Ababa
Telephone – +251 155 20 44; +251 111 32 41
Fax – +251 155 20 30 , +251 1552020
• Office of Oromiya National Regional State President Office  
Telephone –   0115510455
• Office of the Ministry  of Justice of Ethiopia
PO Box 1370,
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251 11 5517775;
+251 11 5520874
• UNESCO Headquarters Paris.
7, place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris 07 SP France
1, rue Miollis 75732 Paris Cedex 15 France
General phone: +33 (0)1 45 68 10 00
• United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)- Africa Department
7 place Fontenoy 75352
Paris 07 SP
General phone: +33 (0)1 45 68 10 00
• UNESCO Office in Abuja
Mail: j.ngu(at)
Tel: +251 11 5445284
Fax: +251 11 5514936
• Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: + 41 22 917 9022 (particularly for
Urgent matters) E-mail: this e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
• Office of the UNHCR
Telephone: 41 22 739 8111
Fax: 41 22 739 7377
Po Box: 2500
Geneva, Switzerland
• African Commission on Human and Peoples‘ Rights (ACHPR)
48 Kairaba Avenue, P.O.Box 673, Banjul, the Gambia.
Tel: (220) 4392 962 , 4372070, 4377721 – 23
Fax: (220) 4390 764
• Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
• Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, FRANCE
+ 33 (0)3 88 41 34 21
+ 33 (0)3 90 21 50 53
Contact us by email
• U.S. Department of State
Laura Hruby
Ethiopia Desk Officer
U.S. State Department
Tel: (202) 647-6473
• Amnesty International – London
Claire Beston
“Claire Beston” <>
Human Rights Watch
Felix Hor
“Felix Horne” <>,

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