Kidnappings and Disappearances of Students in Southern Ethiopia | HRLHA
An urgent appeal letter from the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) – Urgent Action
In a recently launched wave of kidnappings and arrests against students in southern Ethiopia, three Oromo students of the Awassa University have so far disappeared; and the extra-judicial action against students is said to have continued.
According to HRLHA informants in the area,
1. Nagga Gezaw, second year Civil Engineering student, and
2. Dhaba Girre, third year Management student were kidnapped and taken away from the university campus by members of the security and police forces of the Federal Government of Ethiopia on the 5th of January 2010 while Jatani Wario, second year Co-operative student, was taken away from the campus in the same manner by the same kind of forces on the 6th of January 2010. The whereabouts of the three Oromo students were not known ever since they were kidnapped by the government security and police forces. HRLHA informants have learnt, though it has been difficult to trace and document, that there are more students that have faced the same fate and might be in the same situations as a result of these most recent extra-judicial actions.
According to some insiders, the kidnapping and disappearance of the three Oromo students of the Awassa University is related to the students’ movement taking place in Gujii/Borena Zone of Oromia Regional State – which was triggered by the alleged poisoning and contamination of local rivers and stream waters by uncontrolled and/or unregulated waste products from the activities of gold mining industry at Lega Dembi.
During the UN’s Universal Periodic Review of Ethiopia on December 9, 2009, the Ethiopian delegation testified in front of the member states that there were no human rights abuses in Ethiopia; and guaranteed that any form of human rights abuses would never be committed. However, within a one month time, the bad human rights record of the Ethiopian government has surfaced once again.
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its deep concern over the safety and well-being of the three Oromo students and others. Given the very bad record of the Ethiopian prison officials and the worst situations of prisons in Ethiopia, as confirmed and reported on by many regional and international human rights agencies as well as diplomatic bodies, the case of the three Oromo students becomes very worrisome.
HRLHA calls upon governments of the West, all local, regional and international human rights agencies to join hands and demand the immediate halt of such kinds of extra-judicial kidnappings, mass arrest and imprisonment of innocent students and other civilians by the Ethiopian government.
The HRLHA is a non-political and non-profit organization that is engaged in challenging abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. It works on defending fundamental human rights including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and association. It also works on raising the awareness of individuals about their own fundamental human rights and that of others. It encourages the observances as well as due processes of law. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies.
Garoma Wakessa – Executive DirectorHuman Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA)
Crime Minister Meles Zenawi PO Box 1031 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Tel. 251 11 1552044 251 11 1552044 or 251 11 1113241 251 11 1113241 Fax: +251 11 1552030
Ministry of Federal Affairs
Siraj FegisaP.o.Box 5718, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel 251 11 1512766 251 11 1512766 or 5159330
Ministry of Justice
PO Box 1370, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251 11 1517755
+251 11 1515099 or 15157950
Federal Commissioner of Police
Mr Workneh Gebeyehu, Federal Police Commission, Ministry of Federal Affairs
PO Box 5068, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Simone Joseph – Foreign Affairs Officer
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor
Washington, D.C. 20037
Tel: +1-202-261-8009 +1-202-261-8009
Joseph, Simone O (DRL) [mailto: JosephSO@state.gov ]
European Commission Delegation to EthiopiaPaola Cerea – Human Rights Project officerPaola.firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of the High Commissioner for Human RightsUnited Nations Office at Geneva1211 Geneva 10, SwitzerlandFax: + 41 22 917 9022(particularly for urgent matters)E-mail: email@example.com
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)
48 Kairaba Avenue, P.O.Box 673, Banjul,
Tel: (220) 4392 962 , 4372070, 4377721 – 23
Fax: (220) 4390 764
Amnesty International – London
Telephone: +44-20-74135500 +44-20-74135500
Fax number: +44-20-79561157
Human Rights Watch – New York, Tel: +1-212-290-4700 +1-212-290-4700