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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wall Street Journal: Democracy on Trial in Ethiopia

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day


Update: Unanimous vote sends H.R. 2003 successfully out of the Subcommittee on Africa

[VIDEO]--Mark-up of H.R. 2003
[AUDIO]-- US Legislation on Ethiopia Democracy Moves Forward
Press release from the coalition for H.R. 2003

- Today's Top HEADLINES
- Picture of the day

(The Wall Street Journal)

Let's play name-that-state. After the EU declared its 2005 elections flawed, this country's troops killed 193 protestors and arrested 20,000 more. Last week, 42 of the accused were convicted of inciting violence to overthrow the state (down from an original charge of genocide and treason). Thirty-five were condemned to life in prison and forbidden to vote on Monday. Some of the accused were journalists, so their publishing houses were fined and closed.

Did you guess Ethiopia? Probably not, since this African state has often been held up as a pillar of good governance on a troubled continent. In just over a decade, Ethiopia went from military rule to a parliamentary system. But this democracy is on paper only.

The convictions are not an isolated incident, nor are the 42 defendants just any opposition figures. They include the elected mayor of Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, a former Harvard scholar and a former U.N. envoy. They've been condemned to the same fate, life in prison, as ousted military strongman Mengistu Hailee Mariam, who is held responsible for the murder of 150,000 academics and university students in two decades in power.(More...)


-[AUDIO] CSIS Analyst Stephen Morrison on developments concerning CUD leaders
-US Seeks Clemency for Ethiopian Opposition Leaders
-Congress,Bush exasperated by Ethiopia's backsliding democracy
-Congresswoman Drakes' statement on Sentencing of Dr. Yacob
-UN opens new Somali refugee camp in Ethiopia
-Deadly Mogadishu blasts overshadow peace talks


-Water find 'MAY END Darfur war'
-US: Top al-Qaida in Iraq figure captured
-Almost 200 Feared Dead in Plane Crash in Brazil
-Berezovsky tells of 'hitman plot'
-Quake forces Toyota to halt production
-Dave Chappelle OK after brief hospitalization
-Football match for Mandela's 89th birthday

Picture of the day

(TIME Magazine Cover: Soviet physicist and legendary human rights activist Andrei Sakharov - May 14, 1990)

"Andrei Sakharov, by courageously speaking truth to power, he became the conscience of the cold war and inspired the movement that toppled Soviet communism" - Time

Professor Mesfin Wolde Mariam, founder of the Ethiopian human rights council, was nominated for the “Sakharov” prize in 2006. The European Union, who gives out this award annually, nominates individuals for their efforts in promoting human rights and courageously resisting oppression. There are many striking similarities between Andrei Sakharov and Mesfin wolde Maiam; for instance, both started out academics in a scientific field but later turned activist due to the oppressive political climate they found themselves in.

Find out what other similarities there are between these two renowned human rights advocates;

-Biography of Andrei Sakharov (Time)
-Mesfin Wolde-Mariam, the Conscience of a Nation (Biography)

P.S – Professor Mesfin Wolde-Mariam is currently jailed by the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia; human rights organizations from all over the world are appealing for his release. To see what you can do to help, click here.