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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

February 19

Also in the news: [ETHIOPIA: Journalist sent back to prison over libel case dating back to 2002] - [Torture in the prisons of Ethiopia] - [Somali extremists post video warning to peacekeepers] - [Somali government to impose curfew, as forceful disarmament is due to begin] - [Ghadafi brings in cars, gold as present for leaders] - [Timely novel sheds light on chaotic Somalia] - [African leaders mull Somali force]

International: [Millions to go hungry, waterless: climate report] - [Attacks on Shiite pilgrims kill 38 in Iraq] - [Russians Used Photo of Litvinenko for Target Practice] - [Neolithic site found near England's Stonehenge] - ["Smile Jamaica" Marley's sons to hold concert for peace] and more of today's top stories!

Libya's President Muammar al-Gaddafi is escorted by his (female) bodyguards after the morning session of the African Union Summit of Heads of States in the United Nations office in Addis Ababa January 30, 2007. REUTERS/Andrew Heavens

The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Amnesty International USA

"Peaceful Resistance and Civil Disobedience as Treason: Sustained Crackdown on Dissent in Ethiopia"


February 19

ETP: A world wide campaign is in the works this February, to appeal for the release of prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia.

In the U.S, Canada, Australia and Europe; Ethiopians are preparing for mass demonstrations to bring to the world’s attention the plight of Human rights activists, journalists and opposition party leaders who are incarcerated for exercising their right to free speech.

Everyone that wishes to see democracy blossom in Ethiopia has an obligation to be involved in this campaign.

Participate in the demonstrations; Call and send your letters of appeal to governments of donor countries as well as the government of Ethiopia ( Prime Minister's office), The American Embassy in Ethiopia, European Commission in Ethiopia, etc..

February 19 is sentencing day for prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia; let’s work together to make that day the beginning of true justice, reconciliation, peace and unity.
-Visit the Action Center, see how you can help!

Also read:

ETHIOPIA: Journalist sent back to prison over libel case dating back to 2002

Reporters Without Borders today condemned the Ethiopian supreme court’s decision on 26 January to reject an appeal by journalist Abraham Reta of the privately-owned weekly Addis Admas and send him back to prison to complete the one-year sentence he received in May 2006 for allegedly libelling three senior officials.

We will not be able to talk of press freedom in Ethiopia as long as heavy prison sentences are been handed down in such an abnormal manner on journalists whom the government sees fit to classify as opposition members,” the press freedom organisation said. “A way must be quickly found to release all the journalists who are in prison. Detaining part of the press and making the other part live in fear of being detained will only aggravate the general situation.” (More...)

Somali extremists post video warning to peacekeepers

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- Extremists in Somalia warned on Tuesday they would try and kill any peacekeepers deployed to the country, a sign of further instability and unrest in the war-ravaged nation.

In a videotape posted on the official Web site of Somalia's routed Islamic movement, a hooded gunman read a statement saying that any African peacekeepers would be seen as invaders.

The video warning comes as African leaders met in neighboring Ethiopia to discuss the deployment of 8,000 peacekeepers to Somalia. So far only three nations -- Uganda, Nigeria and Malawi -- have pledged around 4,000 troops.

"Somalia is not a place where you will earn a salary -- it is a place where you will die," one militant, carrying an assault rifle and dressed in military fatigues, said in the warning to the peacekeepers. "The salary you are seeking will be used to transport your bodies." Five other hooded gunmen were visible, armed with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades.(More...)

Ghadafi brings in cars, gold as present for leaders

(capital) Libyan leader Muamar Ghadafi has brought in 15 cars and two bags full of gold as gifts for African heads of states who are expected to participate in the 8th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, scheduled to open tomorrow, Monday, January 29th.

The two bags of gold are kept in a room at the airport awaiting consent from Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Sources from Bole International Airport disclosed that the two bags of gold have been seized to check on the legality of bringing gold into the country. Ghadafi is noted for engaging in very controversial ventures in the past.

He has also been pushing for many years to have the headquarters of the African Union shifted from Addis Ababa to the Libyan capital Tripoli.

Somali government to impose curfew on the country as forceful disarmament is due to begin

Somali prime minister Ali Mohammed Gedi, who delivered a brief speech to the parliament today, has announced that a curfew will be imposed on the country generally despite the State of Emergency, which has had little affect in the country’s security situation.

He said there will be curfew on the country soon to secure the stability and peace in the country. “The parliament and the government will impose a curfew on the country and you will hear today the time the curfew will be affective,” he said, adding that people should abide by the laws and cooperate with government security forces.(More...)

Timely novel sheds light on chaotic Somalia

Nuruddin Farah's new novel "Knots" about roots, returning and regeneration -- a tale of hope set against a backdrop of seeming hopelessness.

A family catastrophe in Canada prompts Cambara, a strong-willed Somali exile, to return to reclaim her family property in war-torn Mogadiscio (the Italian spelling of the city Mogadishu used by the author) from a warlord.

In the process she finds unexpected love, befriends a jovial Irishman, a resourceful shopkeeper and some female peace activists among others, and manages to stage a play -- while throwing a couple of karate kicks along the way. (More...)

Today's Top Stories

-Torture in the prisons of Ethiopia
-African leaders mull Somali force
-Millions to go hungry, waterless: climate report
-Attacks on Shiite pilgrims kill 38 in Iraq
-Report: Russians Used Photo of Litvinenko for Target Practice
-Neolithic site found near England's Stonehenge
-"Smile Jamaica" Marley's sons to hold concert for peace
-2006 Sets Global Tourism Record
-Thieves happier than police?