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Friday, September 22, 2006

Yamamoto for good governance

Also in the news: announcement from Holland support group (EHRCO), rebel group claims abduction, 'Betrayal of Democracy'in Ottawa, Leave no Stone unturned, khat outlawed and more of today’s top stories!

The Ethiopian Human Right Council Support Group Holland

The Ethiopian Human Rights Council (Addis Abeba): most of its members are currently languishing in government prisons in Ethiopia –(archive picture)

October 10, 2006 marks the 15th anniversary of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO), the first and prominent human rights organization in Ethiopia. Over the past 15 years, EHRCO has struggled to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law under enormous political and administrative pressure and resource constraints.

As a non-profit foundation established in 1996 to assist EHRCO in its arduous endeavors, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council Support Committee in Holland (EHRCO-SCH) has, among other things, organized a number of conferences and workshops over the years. The last conference was held between the 17th and 18th of June 2005. The conference was planned amid widespread, though guarded, optimism among Ethiopians and others about the prospects for a peaceful electoral process and the beginning of a genuine transition towards a democratic political system that is governed by democratic principles and respectful of citizen’s rights.(More...)

-Outline of Conference Themes

I will promote transparency in Ethiopia's political process: Yamamoto

If confirmed by the full Senate, Yamamoto said he would work with Ethiopians to promote "an open and transparent electoral process, inclusion of all parts of society in the democratic process, engagement of all opposition parties to ensure full and dynamic participation in political decision-making, tolerance of dissent, an independent judiciary with transparent and accountable judicial processes, the consistent protection of human rights, and a free and responsible press."

An obstacle to progress, he told the Senate panel, was the ongoing trial of more than 100 opposition leaders and their supporters, civil society leaders, and journalists, which "continues to generate concerns about the future of Ethiopia’s democratic development."(More...)

Islamists in Somalia Outlaw Khat Sale and Purchase Or Use During the Holy Month of Ramadan

Sheik Ahmed Abdulahi Hussein Fanah, the Islamic Courts leader for social affairs and regional relations has introduced a new law banning selling and using "Khad", a narcotic plant commonly used in Somalia.

"During the holy month of fasting Ramadan, we have proscribed the sale, purchase and use of Khad and anyone seen selling or purchasing it, will be punished in accordance with the Shari'eh of law", said Sheik Fanah.

Asked if Khad business could be back at night, Fanah stopped short over answering the question, alleging that it was not time to differentiate between day and night. Sheik Fanah stated the warning statement during an interview by Shabelle Radio in Mogadishu Normally during the holy month of Ramadan (the only month Muslims fast during the year) Muslims fast from pre-dawn to sunset by abstaining eating, drinking and all evil deeds, including gossiping and insulting. Banning Khad is the first time ever since former late president Siyad Barre government.(More...)

Today's Top Stories

-CD Calendar lands forty in jail:EZ
-Somali rebel group in Ethiopia claims abduction of Relief workers
-Leave no Stone unturned for the release of Kidnapped ICRC Workers
-'Betrayal of Democracy' in Ottawa
-Somali Islamists stage execution
-Dying as Darfur awaits peacekeepers
-Bush 'taken aback' about reported threat to Pakistan
-Hezbollah Chief Leads Huge Rally
-Purges under way in Thailand
-Pope Benedict XVI to meet Muslim ambassadors
-At least 15 die in German magnetic train crash
-Burglars get severed heads shock
-Gambians vote with their marbles
-Court says $32,000 is too much to fondle bosom