Google

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A prominent human rights campaigner arrested

Yalemzewd Bekele, a prominent human rights activist and a lawyer working for the European Commission in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, was arrested on the morning of 19 October by the Ethiopian authorities, while trying to cross the border to Kenya with another Ethiopian. Police issued a warant of arrest against Yalemzewd last week accusing her of distributing a civil disobedience calendar. According to police sources, both of them are held at the Ethio-Kenyan border.
Meanwhile, police claimed that it had arrested two European Commission staffers,Bjorn JONSSON Head of Finance and Contract department of the delegation in Ethiopia and Enrico SBORGI who works at the good governance department, for trying to help Yalemzewd escape.
(more latter)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The arrest of Yalemzewd Bekele by the Ethiopian security is another proof that the TPLF wants to intimidate every Ethiopian who aspires to lead active civic life. Yalemzewd is an innocent citizen who led normal life but active in her profession as a lawyer. She has been working for local and international NGOs as gender advocate working for the betterment of poor Ethiopian women's quality of life, and in that capacity she might have been critical of public policy. TPLF is just creating excuses for her arrest labeling her as conspirator, while the real reason behind is just because she was advocating for poor Ethiopian women. The whole of Ethiopians at home and abroad have to condemn her arrest and demand her unconditional release.

Anonymous said...

who is going to be arrested next Tim Clark.

Anonymous said...

If the harassment and detention of foreign diplomat and educated women’s continue in side Ethiopia,
the situation even more endanger EPDRF diplomat thru out EU as well as some other area of the world. Ethiopian women’s should condemned this action in particular since Women leaders and peace advocates In Ethiopia do not deserve Intimidation and harassment. As An Ethiopian women aboard I condemned this situation in addition to many other un progressive conditions in Ethiopia.

Anonymous said...

What is going on....Massive man hunt against all who advocate peace...I wish that Tim Clark also tests...the injustice. I mean get detained or tortured ...Then he will say enough is enough......until then we all should learn that Reason and justice has no place in Ethiopian politics... Yalemzewed I pray for you.

Anonymous said...

Just to intimidate young and professional Ethiopians, Woyane is is at loggerheads with even the European Union and the whole of Europe for that matter. That would not serve the interests of Ethiopian. Europe is the major donor of development funds to Ethiopia. Blowing the case of Yalemzewd out of proportion will not help Woyane. Instead, it may continue to reap more enemies from inside and out. It would be in the interest of all Ethiopians for Woyane to come to the negotiation table and start building peace rather than hate.

Anonymous said...

Just to intimidate young and professional Ethiopians, Woyane is is at loggerheads with even the European Union and the whole of Europe for that matter. That would not serve the interests of Ethiopian. Europe is the major donor of development funds to Ethiopia. Blowing the case of Yalemzewd out of proportion will not help Woyane. Instead, it may continue to reap more enemies from inside and out. It would be in the interest of all Ethiopians for Woyane to come to the negotiation table and start building peace rather than hate.

Anonymous said...

Just to intimidate young and professional Ethiopians, Woyane is is at loggerheads with even the European Union and the whole of Europe for that matter. That would not serve the interests of Ethiopian. Europe is the major donor of development funds to Ethiopia. Blowing the case of Yalemzewd out of proportion will not help Woyane. Instead, it may continue to reap more enemies from inside and out. It would be in the interest of all Ethiopians for Woyane to come to the negotiation table and start building peace rather than hate.

Anonymous said...

ithese idiot woyanes have to be stopped !! Is this how they want to celeberat the Ethiopian Millinium ?? Is this how Ethiopians wants to celeberate the milinium ??

Ethiopians really need to celeberate the milinium in anti-woyane themes.

http://www.ethiomedia.com/addfile/farce_of_ethiopian_millennium.html

Cool Z : thanks for the update.

Berhanu

inde hewan said...

Please IMMEDIATELY contact the European Commission to prevent Yalemzewd from being tortured. It is easily in the EC's power to prevent this. But this is only going to happen if they feel the pressure of public embarrassment, and this news getting public attention. Please find my letter to them below:

Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2006
From:
Subject: Employee of the European Commission arrested by Ethiopian government authorities
To: timothy.clarke@ec.europa.eu, herve.delphin@ec.europa.eu,
louis.michel@ec.europa.eu
CC: hrwnyc@hrw.org, amnesty-eu@aieu.be,
DELEGATION-ETHIOPIA@CEC.EU.INT, horn@voanews.com, letters@observer.co.uk


To:
Tim Clarke, Head of Delegation to Ethiopia
Hervé Delphin, Member of the Cabinet (oversees EC programs in Ethiopia)
Louis Michel, Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid

CC:
Human Rights Watch, attn. Peter Takirambudde, Executive Director (Africa Desk)
European Union Office, Amnesty International
Charles Schaefer, Country Specialist for Ethiopia, Amnesty International
European Union Delegation to Ethiopia
Horn of Africa Division, Voice of America
The Guardian newspaper


Dear Mr. Clarke, Mr. Delphin, and Mr. Michel:

I am deeply troubled by the information recently learned that an employee of the European Commission in Ethiopia, Ms. Yalemzewd Bekele has been arrested yesterday by Ethiopian government authorities close to the Ethiopian-Kenyan border. She is being accused of having helped to distribute a calendar calling for nonviolent civil disobedience against repressive practices by the Ethiopian government. Amnesty International recently reported on Ms. Bekele's case and expressed the concern that she is at risk of torture. AI also reported on the confirmed case of severe torture of Mr. Alemayehu Fantu, as well as the deaths resulting from grave torture of three individuals -- all related to the same charge levied against Ms. Bekele. Please see the following links for the above mentioned Amnesty International reports:
http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAFR250332006
http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAFR250322006

I am gravely concerned for Ms. Bekele, a woman lawyer and professional employee of the European Comission for over two years. I strongly urge you to use the full power of your office to ensure that Ms. Bekele be released immediately and unconditionally. I also expect that you will do your utmost to prevent that she be tortured or otherwise ill-treated.

As a major international institution, the European Commission has the moral and legal responsibility to protect its staff from violence committed against them by governments of countries in which it operates. In addition to this responsibility that I hope you take very seriously, I believe that if Ms. Bekele continues to be held in detention of if she in any way is mistreated by government forces, the EC as a whole will incur damage, as the institution may lose the trust of its staff that they would be ensured that their employer will do what is in its power to protect them from physical harm and violence by governments with which the EC conducts business. Furthermore, I believe that the EC will also lose the trust of European citizens, the vast majority of whom would strongly condemn anything other than strong and decisive action by the EC to ensure the physical safety of its staff.

Sincerely,

-------------------------------
Next, here are the relevant EC phone numbers, faxes, and emails to contact:

1. Head of Delegation to Ethiopia
Tim Clarke
Tel: +251-11-661 2511
Fax: +251-11-661 2877
timothy.clarke@ec.europa.eu
Main switchboard phone number: +32-2-299 1111

2. Member of the Cabinet (oversees EC programs in Ethiopia)
Hervé Delphin
Tel: +32-2-295 1820
Fax: +32-2-292 1485
herve.delphin@ec.europa.eu
Main switchboard phone number: +32-2-299 1111

3. Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid
Louis Michel
Tel: +32-2-295 9600 or +32-2-295 2718
Fax: +32-2-292 1485
louis.michel@ec.europa.eu
Main switchboard phone number: +32-2-299 1111