By Mark Roth, September 24th, 2009 — About noon today, a group of protestors against the current Ethiopian government gathered at the corner of Liberty and Fifth avenues Downtown, seeking fair elections in that country and release of an imprisoned opposition leader, Birtukan Mideksa, a 35-year-old former judge and mother of a 4-year-old child who has been sentenced to life in prison by the government of prime minister Meles Zenawi.
Mekdese Kassa, the spokesman for the group, who manages a cancer center in Baltimore, said that even though Mr. Zenawi was elected in 2000, many Ethiopians feel the results were manipulated, and even though new elections are scheduled next year, many opposition party leaders have refused to participate, believing the outcome will be rigged. They also said that Ms. Mideksa, after being pardoned by the government in 2007, was rearrested last year, allegedly for refusing to apologize for her crimes.
Another rallying cry for the group was a 2003 incident in which hundreds of Anuak tribespeople were killed, allegedly with the help of government forces, during ethnic fighting. Referring to American aid to Ethiopia, Mr. Kassa said, “we are saying that U.S. money is being used to kill women and children as a form of genocide, and we want the G-20 to listen. We are focusing on human rights. Human rights violations in Ethiopia are worse than any country, you name it.”
The group of about 30 people moved up Fifth Avenue toward the Convention Center area, intending to hook up- with other similar groups protesting the Zenawi regime.
Source: THE BIG STORY
More AV story at ECADF ….