Friday, June 19, 2009

'Reborn in a free and democratic society'

'Reborn in a free and democratic society'

New Canadians moved by oath of citizenship

THEY came from different countries and under different circumstances, but they came together for one reason on Tuesday afternoon -- to become Canadian citizens.Seventy-six immigrants took the Canadian oath in a lavish room at Union Station, marking the beginning of a brighter, happier future for many of them.

Eshetu Beshada said in a speech that he felt "reborn in a free and democratic society," after receiving his citizenship.

Beshada left Ethiopia in 2004. The political instability and discrimination against his ethnicity forced him and his family to flee, Beshada said.

Beshada and his family are from Oromia, an ethnic region of Ethiopia. His family was tired of being targeted because of that, Beshada said.

"You didn't know what was going to happen every day you woke up," Beshada said. "You could be taken to jail or be shot for no reason."

Going back home would be difficult, he said.

Beshada, along with his wife and two children, took in the ceremony with pride.

"I was almost crying," Beshada said. "It's unbelievable to finally come to this stage."

Naivedya and Anjali Chhibber brought their family to Canada for a healthier and cleaner life.

They left New Delhi, India, in May 2005 and were all smiles after receiving their citizenship certificates.

"We came for the freedom, the quality of life, and the future of our kids," Naivedya said.

Amenities like water and electricity are scarce in their overpopulated city, Naivedya said, something they decided they could live through no longer.

"We only had access to the water supply once in the morning and once in the afternoon," Naivedya said.

"You go through a lot of stress for those things," Anjali added.

The moment they finished reading their oaths was very emotional for them, Naivedya said.

"It's exciting because you've waited for this moment for so long and finally it comes," Anjali said.

One thing that Mario Padron, who is from Cuba, is eagerly looking forward to after waiting four years for his citizenship, is the right to vote.

"On the news you watch all of these things happening (in the country), and you're not really involved," Padron said. "As a permanent resident you have almost everything but you don't have the right to vote. Now I am a Canadian citizen and I have that right.

"Now that we're here, we'd like to help as much as possible. We want to contribute to Canada's success."

Immigrants from China, Germany, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and Sudan also received their citizenships.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Fate of Oromo Refugees in Yemen

About four hundred (400) Oromo refugees, who recently arrived in Yemen from east African countries of Djibouti, Somalia, Somaliland and Punt land by sea, are facing very harsh treatments in the hands of the armed forces of the Yemeni Government. HRLHA reporter has documented that the Oromo refugees in general, the women young girls in particular, have been subjected to discriminatory, unjust and illegal treatments including rape.

According to HRLHA reporter in Yemen, upon arrival in the border town of Makka in Yemen, a group of personnel who claimed to have been employees of the UNHCR and the Red Cross, supported by soldiers, separated the Oromo refugees from other non-Oromo refugees most of whom were Somalis, and placed them under some kind of apprehension. Then, the Oromo refugees were taken to a camp in a town called Mafraq, about 420 kilometers away from Sana’a, the Yemeni Capital. Apart from being held in isolation in a foreign land, the Oromo refugees have been denied all kinds of contacts with the outside world, including relatives and friends in neighboring Middle East countries; and have been asked to pay huge amounts of money (2000.00 Saudi Riyal) in order to be allowed to make any contacts they need. The Yemeni soldiers who have been accompanied by other armed groups who speak Somali and Tigire languages (Tigire from Ethiopia), separate the women from the male refugees, some of them from their spouses, in the night time and take them to unknown places; to bring them back in the morning after inflicting on them all kinds of sexual abuses.

According to HRLHA reporter, 75 of those refugees were transferred to a detention center known as Jawazata in Sana’a on May 28, 2009; while the rest (about 325) of them are still being held in a heavily guarded camp in Ta’z town, where they are suffering from shortage of food, water and other basic necessities. Among the 75 refugees who have been transferred to the Jawaza prison in Sana’a, the HRLHA reporter has managed to obtain the names of the following:

1. Tamam Mahammad Usman

2. Yusuf Mahaammad Ibrahim

3. Jafar Usman

4. Umar Ziyad

5. Mohammad Dawud

6. Biqila Darara

7. Umar Ziyad

8. Jafar Ammee

9. Gazalii Huseen Bultuma

10. Muhammad Ibrahim Amme

11. Adam Ibraahim

12. Abdataa Yaddessa

13. Samiyaa Ibrahim

14. Mariyaa Ibrahim

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa is highly concerned about the safety of Oromo refugees in Yemen in general and fate of those refugees being held in both the Sana’a and Ta’az detention camps in particular.

The Human rights League of the Horn of Africa / HRLHA believes that what has happened to these refugees is in violation of what were provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the Universal declaration of Human Rights Article 14/1, it was stated that, “Every one has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution”.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) urges other human rights agencies (local, regional and international) to join hands with it and condemn these illegal and inhuman acts of the armed forces of the Yemeni Government. HRLHA also requests governments of the West and other international organizations to interfere so that the safety and security of those refugees would be secured.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa/HRLHA is a non-political organization which attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the peoples of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. HRLHA is aimed at defending fundamental human rights including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and organization. It is also aimed at raising the awareness of individuals about their own basic human rights and that of others. It has intended to work on the observances as well as due processes of law. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Anti Dictatorship and pro democratic demonstration organized by the Union of Oromo Students in Europe (UOSE) and Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) on 22nd of May 2009 in Brussels was a success. Oromos and Oromo friends across Europe have aired their voice to

* Support the move of Genocide Watch to Bring Meles Zenawi, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, to the ICC (International Criminal Cour)

* Ask the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Right, EU ,UK ,USA and the International Community to initiate an inquiry into the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Ethiopian Government for the past 18 years on power;

* Inform European Union (EU) member states to raise the issue of human rights in Ethiopia specially in Oromiya, to express a collective and public concern at the human rights situation in Ethiopia, and called for the release of all detained political prisoners;

* Called for the Unity of the Ethiopian democratic forces to come together at this juncture to save the public from the bloody hand of the Ethiopian dictator evil strategy of divide and rule.

* Stop the environmental, natural, economical and social disaster of the negligent and unplanned investment in flower, skin, construction…. Which claimed and is clamining the life’s of Oromos and other nation in Ethiopia

The Oromos have long suffered from the irony rule of the Meles Zenawi government according to human right watch, State department, Amnesty International, and other reports.

As part of the demonstration an appeal with briefing documents were submitted to the concerned European Commission, European Council, and UK embassy in Brussels, USA embassy in Brussels and other for their urgent action on the genocidal government of Meles Zenawi.

Peace, Justice and Democracy for All.

Union of Oromo Students in Europe (UOSE)

May 2009


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