Parliament Hill, 23 September.
Ethiopians in Ottawa speak out loud
by Eshete Mesganaw
Today in a massive turnout Canadians of Ethiopian Heritage raised their voice to the government of Canada their anger and frustrations over the ongoing Human Rights Abuses and political crisis in Ethiopia. The demonstrators, enchanted slogans and mottos which sent a strong message to the government and the public in Canada. They insisted, Canada must not be silent about the ongoing atrocities in Ethiopia. It must speak loud against who abuses Canadian assistance to commit crimes against humanity and genocide. They requested the Government to put pressures on the Ethiopian government to to unconditionally release political prisoners, allow an independent investigation by the United Nations and open up the political space.
The demonstration is organized by the cooperation of Ethiopians living in Ottawa, the nation’s Capital and Toronto, Canada’s largest city through their coordinating committee. They marched towards the national parliament, the Prime Minister’s office and US embassy in Ottawa. Among other things demonstrators; have condemned in strongest terms the brutal crackdown of dissents, torture, killings and mass arrest in the Oromiya, Amhara Regions and the people of Konso in Southern Ethiopia. They decried the burning of prisoners of conscience, who are supposed to be under Government’s protection, is a heinous crimes committed against prisoners by the regime.
It is learned that the massive turnout is an unusual and attended by many peoples from all walks of life. One of the organizer of the demonstration, an activist and coordinator of the Toronto Task Force, Sahelu Bekele has commented that such massive rally is a reflection of the worsening political crisis and brutal crackdowns in Ethiopia. He further urged, since the regime is intensifying its repression, all political parties and social forces in the opposition camp should muster energies and pool their resources to expedite the democratic transformations that all Ethiopian are demanding and anxiously waiting for.
The demonstration have the audience with Honorable Gordon John, member of Parliament, on behalf of the Canadian government. He expressed to the demonstrators that everyone has freedom of expression and free speech. He appreciated the demonstrators for coming to express their concern and informing what is going on in Ethiopia.
The leaders of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Ethiopian evangelical Church and the Ethiopian Muslims’ representative have urged the people and various groups to work together in unity. A letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and to the Parliament were delivered by the company of the organizers and Community leaders.
Ethiopians concluded their rally in a very fruitful, orderly and peaceful manner. The Task force have also thanked Ethiopians for showing up at such time of critical need to show solidarity to the Ethiopian people. The task force, have expressed their readiness to double their effort until the regime’s changes.
Unity for human rights is a member of the organizing task force.
Source: Unity for Human Rights and Democracy Toronto
Unity for Human Rights and Democracy is a volunteer based, not for profit community organization, striving to empower Ethiopian-Canadians to advocate for Human Rights,Democracy and Good Governance in Ethiopia.
Photo credit: Hector Addison