Friday, December 01, 2006

WS on Human Rights Violation in Oromia

Sixty-second session
Item 9 of the provisional agenda


Written statement* submitted by the International Federation for the Protection of the Rights of Ethnic, Religious, Linguistic and Other Minorities (IFPRERLOM),
a non-governmental organization on the Roster

The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in
accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.

[13 February 2006]

* This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s).

Oromia, Ethiopia
IFPRERLOM wishes to express concern regarding reports of extrajudicial killings of Oromo Students in Oromia, Ethiopia.

Whereas the ruling coalition party led by the Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) is alleged to be committing unparalleled human rights violations against the Oromo people, this statement deals mainly with the portion of extra-judicial killings of Oromo students that have been reported.

Ethiopia has been in a state of unrest since the May 2005 National Elections, and on 9 November 2005, a popular uprising of Oromo Students began at Ambo and spread all over Oromia.1 These peaceful demonstrations, were held at regional and national levels against the New Education Policy, the Taxation and Agricultural Policy, the unfair and politically biased distribution of fertilizers, the banning of Oromo civic organisations (Human Rights League, Oromo Relief Association, Metcha-Tulama Self-Help Association), the transfer of the capital city of the regional state of Oromia from Finfinne (Addis Ababa) to Adama (Nazareth) and the systematic sidelining of genuine political organisations such as Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Ogaden National Liberation Front, Sidama Liberation Front, Benishangul People Liberation Movement, among others by ruling party in May 2005 national election. They have continued to demand freedom of the press and the release of political prisoners.

The following is a list of alleged extra-judicial killings that have been reported: On 9 November 2005 the police killed three Oromo students (Jaagamaa Badhaanee (from Ambo 06, grade 11 student); Kabbadaa Badhaasaa (from Tiukur Inchinnii, grade 11 student) and an unidentified female student) and wounded 17 in Ambo town. On 12 November 2005, a 10th grade student Lachiisaa Fullaasaa was killed at Muka Turii High School. On 16 November 2005, Dabalaa Oliiqaa Guutaa and Malaakuu Tarfaa Fayisaa, of Kofale High School in Arsi, were killed by TPLF/ Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) cadres. Eleni Kitessa (female), student of grade 9 was severely wounded. On 28 November 2005, students Habtamuu Bayyataa Biqilaa and Fiqaaduu were killed in Jalduu town (W.Shewa), Katamaa Xaafaa and Nuuressaa Girmaa were severely wounded, and later died in Ambo Hospital. In December 2005 Alemayehu Gerba (Gemta Gerba), a handicapped Addis Ababa University student was shot dead in Akaki (Haqaaqii) prison, a small town just south of Finfinne (Addis Ababa). On 20 December 2005, the TPLF is reported to have killed three students in Qiltu Karaa, Western Oromia.

Five more students were seriously injured and taken to Aayiraa Hospital, one of these was later reported to have died. On 24 January 2006, student Hayile Desta was killed by the state militia at Abbaya Chomman sub district, at the town of Finca’aa. A recent report by Human Rights Watch, compiled after visits to Ethiopia, including Oromia, states that “the Ethiopian government is using intimidation, arbitrary detentions and excessive force in rural areas of Ethiopia to suppress post-election protests and all potential dissent.”2

Recalling that between 1992 and 1994, tens of thousands of Oromos were subjected to mass arrests and imprisonment; and an unknown number of the detainees extra-judicially killed; IFPRERLOM is gravely concerned about current development in Oromia.

The organization calls upon the Ethiopian Government to respect the International Covenants and Conventions to which it is a signatory as well as its own constitution: Article 15 ‘The Right of Life’; Article 16 ‘The Right of the Security of a Person’; Article 17 ‘Right of Liberty’; Article 18 ‘Prohibition Against Inhuman Treatment’; Article 19 ‘Right of a Person Arrested’; Article 20 of a person accused; and Article 21 concerning a person held in custody. Articles 29 to 44 also protect students’ and individuals’ democratic rights. Denial of the above constitutes a violation of Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, (ICCPR) which Ethiopia ratified in 1993. It is also a violation of Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.



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