Rep. Chris Smith ለኮንግረስ አባላት የጻፉት ደብዳቤ

Current political, socio-economic and human rights issues.

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Rep. Chris Smith ለኮንግረስ አባላት የጻፉት ደብዳቤ

Postby የዘመኑ ልሳን » Sat Feb 11, 2006 11:32 pm

Ethiopia: Washington Update Feb 10 2006

Washington Update

By Mesfin Mekonen
Feb. 10, 2006

Rep. Chris Smith sent a letter this week to every member of the House of Representatives explaining the goals of H.R. 4423 and asking for their support. The full text of the letter follows. He notes in the letter irregularities in the recent election, the killings of Ethiopians by government security forces, and the arrest of tens of thousands of Ethiopians without charges.

It is essential that all Ethiopians contact members of Congress to express their support for this legislation and to ask that members of Congress co-sponsor and vote for it. Even if you have already contacted Congress, do it again. It is especially important to contact members of the International Relations Committee. You can find the contact information for committee members here.

What we need most now is consistency of effort and effort and a community united to see H.R. 4423 through to completion. For this we are calling on everyone to persist in contacting Congress even more now as the fateful day of the hearing approaches.

Rep. Smith plans to hold a hearing on the legislation, probably some time in March.

A copy of Rep. Smith’s “Dear Colleague” letter follows.

Help Ethiopia Avoid Chaos and Build for the Future

Co-sponsor the Ethiopia Consolidation Act - H.R. 4423

Dear Colleague:

The May 2005 elections in Ethiopia held the promise of advancement in democracy in Ethiopia, one of America’s most important allies in Africa. Unfortunately, the government’s handling of the counting of ballots and the delayed release of results exacerbated a pre-existing deep mistrust of the government, especially the National Election Board and the judiciary. It also revealed the weaknesses in the political parties, civil society and the private sector. More than 80 persons have been killed by Ethiopian security forces during demonstrations, tens of thousands of Ethiopian citizens have been jailed without charges for months and elected opposition officials have refused to take up their seats, threatening the operation of Parliament and the management of cities such as the capital of Addis Ababa.

This is why I have introduced the Ethiopia Consolidation Act – H.R. 4423 – which calls for increased respect for human rights in the country by the judiciary, police and security personnel in line with international human rights standards, as well as capacity building for civil society and political parties to advance democracy in Ethiopia. My bill further provides technical assistance for Ethiopia’s dominant, but drought-plagued, agricultural sector and U.S. financing for Ethiopian ventures to stimulate economic development. In short, my bill would help Ethiopia better prepare for life in the 21st century and help this nation realize its great potential.

H.R. 4423 calls on the Government of Ethiopia to immediately release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience and allow access to all detainees by their families, their legal counsel and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
H.R. 4423 provides for human rights training for all police, security personnel and the entire judiciary in properly dealing with suspects and prisoners and in handling demonstrations in a non-lethal manner. Such training funds would flow from the U.S. Government directly to non-governmental organizations on the ground and not through the Government of Ethiopia. It further calls on the Government of Ethiopia to take steps to better ensure the independence of the judiciary.
H.R. 4423 provides for increased technical assistance to the Government of Ethiopia on economic policy, technical assistance on water resource usage and increased U.S. financing of Ethiopian commercial ventures to enable an expansion of economic opportunity in the country.

H.R. 4423 is intended to enhance democracy by building the capacity of political parties to effectively organize and contest for votes, as well as enhancing the ability of civil society groups to monitor the entire election process. It also calls on the Government of Ethiopia to change the rules of Parliament to allow for effective, democratic participation by the political opposition.

H.R. 4423 encourages the Government of Ethiopia to respect its own laws allowing for a free media by ensuring the open and transparent licensing of independent television, radio and the Internet to provide broader access to information for the Ethiopian public.

H.R. 4423 calls on the Government of Ethiopia, through the National Election Board, and the political parties to work together on effectively resolving questions about the 2005 elections and addressing electoral issues that would ensure a more satisfactory process in the next elections.

H.R. 4423 calls for certification by the Bush Administration that the Government of Ethiopia is complying with international standards of human rights and the principles of due process and rule of law, especially by conducting an independent, credible investigation of the killing of demonstrators in June and November of 2005.

My bill is not merely an attempt to attack the Government of Ethiopia for its transgressions of human rights, rather it is an effort to help that government and its political opposition to defuse a crisis that is growing daily and threatening the security of this nation. Furthermore, my bill is designed to help the government, civil society and the private sector create a more stable Ethiopia that can be an effective American ally in the troubled Horn of Africa.

I thank my current co-sponsors and those offices that have made helpful suggestions for the changes we have made, and I ask all of you who are interested in this effort to contact Gregory Simpkins in my office to get more information on the enhanced version of H.R. 4423, to reiterate your support or to let us know whether you will join the co-sponsors of this legislation.



Chris Smith

Member of Congress
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Postby ዛግሪ » Sun Feb 12, 2006 12:05 am

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Postby ቱሉቦ » Sun Feb 12, 2006 1:52 am


እንደምታውቁት ይህ ውሳኔ እጅግ በጣም አስፈላጊና የአሜሪካ መንግስት የግዴታ በወያኔ ላይ የተጽእኖ ግፊት እንዲያደርግ ኮንግረስ የማስገደድ ችሎታውን የሚጠቀምበት ስለሆነ ሁላችንም መረባረብ አለብን::

እንበርታ !

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