For Immediate Release 4 May 2010 – Advocacy for Ethiopia stands in solidarity with Chris Flaherty’s hunger strike to expose the plight of Judge Birtukan Midekssa. Chris Flaherty, an independent film maker, director of the much acclaimed Migration of Beauty has tirelessly been fighting for the unconditional release of Birtukan Midekssa, and highlighting the gross human rights violations in Ethiopia. Chris Flaherty announced that he will commence a hunger strike in the very near future at the Conference on Good Governance, Peace, Security and Sustainable Development in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa held from 09April-11April sponsored by Advocacy for Ethiopia at which he was one of the speakers invited to address the conference.
On Monday May 3rd Chris Flaherty started the hunger strike in front of the White House. Chris Flaherty has written an open letter to President Obama requesting that the United States government recognize Birtukan Midekssa as a prisoner of conscience, “Birtukan Mideksa is an acknowledged Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, and so the Obama Administration should recognize her as such!” says Mr. Flaherty. freebirtukan.org/…
Mr. Flahety is also challenging the Ethiopian Diaspora globally to become personally involved in the credence of her case, and to partake in a campaign for her freedom as well as join him in the hunger strike.
Judge Birtukan was re-arrested on December 29, 2008 in connection with a speech she made to her supporters in Sweden. According to Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights, Commission, 36-year old former judge and leader of the pro-democracy movement in Ethiopia, is a prisoner of conscience and victim of arbitrary arrest unjustly incarcerated because of her political views and activities.
Advocacy for Ethiopia adds its voice to Chris Flaherty’s in calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Birtukan Midekssa and all prisoners of conscience and requests the United States government and other donor countries make the issue of political prisoners in Ethiopia a part of the condition for their continued support of the Ethiopian government.
Advocacy for Ethiopia is a global coalition formed to advance human rights, rule of law, good governance, the protection of the environment and sustainable development in Ethiopia. AFE is dedicated to empowering all those that support its mission through advocacy, education, information dissemination, and public mobilization.
Advocacy for Ethiopia
tel: (202) 386-3037
El Segund0, CA, 90245
CHRIS FLAHERTY GOES ON HUNGER STRIKE TO RAISE AWARENESSA
LAUDABLE CHALLENGE WE MUST ALL SUPPORT! – Socepp-Canada
We have learned that the filmmaker and producer of the “Migration of Beauty” – a documentary about Ethiopians who fled their country, is launching today a one-man hunger strike in front of the White House to help raise awareness about the grim human rights conditions in Ethiopia. It must be known that Mr. Flaherty has been and remains to be one of the few friends of Ethiopia who has tirelessly been campaigning for the unconditional release of Miss Birtukan Mideksa and all prisoners of conscience who continue to suffer in the dungeons of the TPLF/EPRDF regime.
SOCEPP Canada applauds and fully endorses the works and efforts of this courageous fighter for justice and human rights and will continue to do its part in all its power to make sure that the plight of Ethiopians is heard and answered positively.
We call upon all Diaspora Ethiopians and human rights advocates worldwide to heed the calls of Mr. Flaherty, support his efforts if not also do what he does best – take part in the hunger strike, so that the government of the United States and other concerned parties may pay attention to the plight of the Ethiopian people and stand behind their/our call for the respect of their human and political rights, for justice and democracy.
A fight for justice is always right and we support it wherever it takes place!
Chris Goes on Hunger Strike May 3
Chris Flaherty, who has tirelessly been fighting for the unconditional release of Birtukan Mideksa, and highlighting the gross human rights violations in Ethiopia, will go on hunger strike in front of the White House today Monday May 3rd. Given that the tightly-controlled election in Ethiopia is only weeks away, all able Ethiopians are strongly encouraged to join Chris in this noble cause.
Chris, whose acclaimed film includes The Migration of Beauty, called on Ethiopians in the US to do more for the reign of democracy and justice in their native country.
“How many Ethiopian Americans do I see in front of the Ethiopian Embassy protesting? When did the last happen? Once a candle light vigil in front of the White House doesn’t mean very much, doesn’t grab any attention in the media,” Chris said.
He highlighted the power of the media in helping achieve democracy. He cited the civil rights movement in the US in the ’60s, and the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. He said he will go on hunger strike on May 3rd, and expected to be joined by other Ethiopian American activists to help bring the plight in Ethiopia to the attention of the international community via the media.
Chris has also reported that the Africa Channel will begin broadcasting “Migration of Beauty,” Friday May 7th at 8:00 PM EST and 5:00 PM PST. The Africa Channel broadcasts through major cable companies like Comcast in most major cities in the U.S., the West Indies and the U.K. Please see the link for details in your town: www.theafricachannel.com/schedule.php