ADDIS ABABA- After the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the late Ethiopian Prime Minister, the number of human right violations committed by the government on members, supporters, and representatives ofAll Ethiopia Unity Party (AEUP), one of the most important opposition political parties working under the narrowest political landscape of the country, has been alarmingly increasing. Different reports are indicating that after the death of the Prime Minister thousands of members and supporters of the AEUP have become victims of the brutal human right violations committed by the Ethiopian government just due to their political belief. The victims also include women, children and retired people.
Mr. Wondemagegnhu Deneke, the vice president of AEUP said in an interview on November 10, 2012 that following the death of the Prime Minister the head office of the party received a plenty of reports every day about serious human right violations committed by the government security officers and its cadres from respective branch offices located in different parts of the country.
“Let me tell you what the report I have received an hour ago says”, said Mr. Deneke, “the day before yesterday the government security officers destroyed the houses of 10 members of the party – now these people are homeless and in complicated problem.”
Mr. Deneke said that the violations include murder, torture, arbitrary arrest, preventing from participating in traditional social institutions, pillaging, destroying farms and houses, and forcibly evacuating without compensation.
The violations are said to be planned to crack down AEUP, which is the largest and mostmass-based multi-ethnic party that is a potential threat to the governing party,Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which has been weakened due to the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi-who was the only master mind of the policies, strategies, and international relations of the regime.
Considering the gravity of the situation, AEUP has recently submitted a press release with the list of some of the violations to the United Nation (UN), European Union, different human rights organizations, embassies, and media.
“We need the world to look into Ethiopia and realize what is happening throughout the country”, Mr. Deneke said, “we need western governments to give attention to the human rights crisis in Ethiopia and to exert pressure on the tyrannical Ethiopian government to respect the human rights and freedoms of citizens.”Currently, there are multiple reports indicating that the crisis could get worse more than ever been. However, Mr. Deneke said that whatever the government did – AEUP would never give up.”We are committed to accomplish our objective we stand for. We will keep struggling to step-down the tyrannical regime, and to assure the full respect of individual and people’s fundamental rights and freedoms.”
Following the press release of AEUP, many Ethiopian political activists are arguing that the steadily deteriorating human right situation clearly illustrates that the leadership of Mr.Hailemariam Desalegn, the new Ethiopian Prime Minister, is basically the same as Meles Zenawi’s one.
Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn has come to power replacing Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who died of an undisclosed illness on August 20 in a Belgium hospital. Following his coming to power, it was expected that the poor human right record of Meles Zenawi’s leadership would be improved.
Ethiopia is a one party state with no freedom of assembly and freedom of the media, and is where opposition forces critical of the government are silenced in the most brutal fashion. Under Meles Zenawi’s 21 years leadership, the ruling party, EPRDF, was deliberately involved itself in gross human rights abuses on citizens. The reports of Amnesty International and other human rights organizations show that under his leadership thousands of people were arbitrary arrested, torched, and evacuated from their land while many others were killed, accused of supporting opposition political parties.
For instance, the recent report of the Human Rights Council shows that from January to the end of February 120 people were arbitrary arrested just in the Gamo Gofa Zone, Southern Nation and Nationalities People Regional State. The 2012 Amnesty International Annual Report also indicates that hundreds of Oromos were arbitrary arrested, accused of supporting the Oromo Liberation Front. In addition, many other reports reveal that hundreds of civilians were arbitrarily detained, torched, and killed in the Somali region on suspicion of supporting the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).