October 5, 2012
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) is highly concerned about the safety and well-being of hundreds of Oromo Nationals who were arrested by the Ethiopian Security forces on the annual Irrecha Festival (Oromo Traditional Thanksgiving) Holiday in the central Oromia Regional State in Ethiopia.
According to the information obtained by HRLHA through its correspondents in central Ethiopian, over two hundred Oromo nationals, almost all of whom were the youth, were arrested in a surprise crackdown by armed government forces around the end of the Irrecha Holiday ceremony at Hora (Lake) Arsadi in the Central Oromia City of Bishoftu/Dabra-Zayit on the 30Th On September 2012, and taken away to Maikelawi Investigation prison and to unknown destinations. The allegations were that the holiday celebrants chanted some kinds of political slogans along with Irrecha Festival songs.
HRLHA’s informants from Western and Southern Showa also reported that many Oromos who were on traveling to attend the Irrecha Festival Celebration at Bishoftu were pulled out their Buses on September 29, 2012 by the Security forces in the towns of Guder, Ambo, Ginchi, Shashemene, Sebata, Dukem and other towns and taken to unknown destinations.
The very ambiguous question, as it has been the case in Ethiopia’s political environment in the past fifteen to twenty years, is as to why political opinions and expressions, if any, become a crime in a country that claims to be democratic. It is very unfortunate that the Oromos and other nations and nationalities in Ethiopia are not able to see signs of democratic political changes even following the change of the top political leadership. Among the hundreds of arrests and detainees, the whereabouts of whom was not yet known, the HRLHA correspondents have been able to get the names and any other relevant information of the following: HRLHA UA Irrecha 2012
Ethiopia: Apprehension and Detention of Oromo Nationals on Irrecha Festivals Celebration
October 5, 2012