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Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day


- International Day of Solidarity - 28 June; calling for the acquital of anti-poverty activists in Ethiopia
- Professor Donald Levine on the conviction and promised release of political prisoners
- CUD's tommorrow court session closed to the public (Lewit)


[press release, Coalition for HR 2003 ]

The Coalition for HR 2003 has just learned that Zenawi, through his lobbyists and intermediaries, has communicated to House Africa Subcommittee Chairman Donald Payne and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos that if the Foreign Affairs Committee goes forward with the mark-up of H.R. 2003, he will NOT release the Kality political prisoners.

On the eve of the mark-up scheduled for June 26, 2007, a steady stream of State Department officials, lobbyists and others have gone to the Hill or called to tell Chairmen Payne and Lantos that the fate of the Kality prisoners will depend on the Committee’s decision to mark-up H.R. 2003.

State Department officials have sought to persuade the two committee chairmen and other members that Zenawi is in the final stages of releasing the Kality prisoners, and that marking up the bill at this time would cause him unspeakable embarrassment. Members were told that by marking-up the bill at this critical time, Zenawi will “lose face” among his people and the international community. To help him “save face”, members were asked to delay the mark-up for at least two weeks.(MORE)


-Lewit - CUD's tommorrow court session closed to the public
-International Day of Solidarity - 28 June 2007 (Join activists around the world on 28 June 2007 in calling for the acquital of anti-poverty activists in Ethiopia)
-Final Day in Court?
-6 die in bomb explosion in Somali capital, witnesses say
-Somalia minister escapes from bomb attack
-Sheltering Ethiopian women
-Session on Darfur ends without action plan
-Israel to release Fatah prisoners
-Tony Blair Set to Be Named Mideast Envoy
-Immigration Gets a Second Senate Shot

On the conviction and promised release of political prisoners

Professor Donald Levine

Reports of the signing of a mediated consensus document by political prisoners at Kaliti brings a fresh blast of hope to all who care for human rights and for the future of Ethiopia. It offers a chance to get the country's progress toward democratization and development back on track.

It makes me feel like saying Ethiopia, you are coming home! You are returning to your honorable traditions: of hig makeber, of gaaddisa nagayaa, of shemgilna, of gurabet mekebabir, of beherawi andenet. You may be saying goodby to outmoded customs such as hamet, mesedadeb, political sem-inna worq, and politik be-temenja.

The timing is of course perfect. It opens the way to a genuinely joyous celebration in Maskaram of the Ethiopian millennium. It enables all concerned to face the future instead rather than continuing to obsess over past grievances, even though a future agenda will include efforts to redress those grievances. I am delighted to learn that my good friend and great Ethiopian patriot Zeleke Gessesse, of One Love Africa, is in Ethiopia preparing a special musical celebration of this supreme moment of peaceful reconciliation.

I hope all concerned will seize this moment as an opportunity to make renewed progress toward a genuinely democratic system. This means:

- the return of the CUD prisoners to a full and respected place as members of one of the opposition parties in the country;
- the release of all Oromos, Tigrayans, and any others who are being held as political prisoners;
- the creation of an independent structure to manage and ensure the independence of government-controlled media;
- open use of electronic media;
- institutional capacity-building in the judicial system to ensure that it is kept free from interference from political pressures stemming from any quarter;
- institutional capacity-building in the Election Commission to ensure that future elections will be free and fair; and
- a pledge by ALL parties inside and outside Ethiopia to renounce the kind of hate propaganda and violence that flourished around the time of the May 2005 election and since, and to engage in the kinds of peaceful communication that has characterized Ethiopians at their finest.
These changes will take time, but I urge everyone to do what can be done to ensure that irreversible steps toward them are put in place over the next few months.

Be-zimdina'nna wodajenet

Liben Gebre Etiyopia
aka Professor Donald Levine