HRLHA Press Release
August 25, 2016
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its deepest appreciation to Athlete Fayisa Lelisa for the decision he made to stand beside his people, the Oromo nation, to support their protests against the atrocity of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) led Ethiopian People’ Revolution Democratic Front (EPRDF) government in the past two and half decades.
The HRLHA congratulates him for his courage and heroism in exposing on the world’s most popular sports competition stage, the Rio 2016 Olympics, the TPLF/ EPRDF dictatorial government’s cruelty against the Oromo nation and other nations and nationalities in Ethiopia. The TPLF/ EPRDF government of Ethiopia has been committing atrocities against the Oromo people ever since the uprising of the Oromo nation began in November 2015 against the expansion plan of Addis Ababa, the so called “Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan”. This plan was designed to evict over four million farmers around the city by annexing thirty six towns in Oromia. Over 700 Oromos have been brutalized by the government’s killing squad, the Agazi force, over 50,000 detained, and thousands of others have been forcefully disappeared by security forces since the protest started. .
Despite being condemned by several government agencies including ( EU parliament, UN Experts), international human rights organizations (HRW, AI, HRLHA ) and others international mass media (newspapers – Washington Post, the guardian UK, The New York Times, Reuters, and etc.), (radio and TV – BBC, CNN, Aljazeera and etc.), the government of Ethiopia has continued its unabated atrocities against the Oromo nation.
Recently the UN Human Rights Commissioner has called for a probe into protester killings in Oromia & Ahmara regional states by the Ethiopian government. However, the government of Ethiopia promptly rejected the UN human rights chief’s call saying that “Ethiopia is responsible for the safety of its own people” . This shows that the TPLF/EPRDF government is firmly committed to continuing its atrocities against the protesters who are also committed to continuing their protests by expressing their grievances against marginalization and injustice.
The HRLHA has done all it can to expose the TPLF/EPRDF government’s human rights violations to the world community in the past nine years. As well, other international human rights organizations (HRW, AI,) have reported several times on human rights violations in Ethiopia including on world stages at the UN and other places. However, these outcries haven’t won the attention of the world community as much as the marathon runner Feyisa Lelisa’s fifteen minutes of hand crossing over his head.
Today, thanks to Feyisa Lelisa’s courage and dedication, the Oromo nation and other nations and nationalities in Ethiopia suffering at the hand of the Tyranny TPLF/EPRDF government have become the world’s news focus on popular domestic and international mass media sectors in all spoken and written languages around the globe.
Most of the victims of the TPLF/EPRDF government killing squad are university, college , high school, elementary students, farmers (male and female) and Oromo medical doctors and other members of society who have appeared almost every day on Oromia streets to express their grievances in the past nine months. To end the atrocities of the TPLF/EPRDF government once and for all, Oromo nationals of all social hierarchies should take part in the protest against the tyranny.
Therefore, the HRLHA calls upon all Oromo Civil Servants, Professionals and members of the Ethiopian Military, members of the Ethiopian Security,and Oromia Regional Police members working with the dictatorial government of Ethiopia to reject the TPLF/EPRDF government and support your people’s protest by following Feyisa Lelisa’s steps to save the lives of your nation.