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DROI Chair shocked at arrest of leading Ethiopian opposition figure Prof. Merera Gudina after his recent meeting with MEPs

DROI Chair shocked at arrest of leading Ethiopian opposition figure Prof. Merera Gudina after his recent meeting with MEPs

The Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES), made the following statement:

“On 30 November Ethiopian security forces detained the chairman of the Ethiopian opposition party ‘Oromo Federalist Congress’ (OFC), Professor Merera Gudina, shortly after his arrival in Addis Ababa.

Prof. Merera was returning from Brussels where – together with other Ethiopian activists and the Olympian athlete Feyisa Lellisa – he had had a meeting with MEPs on 9 November 2016.

I urge the Ethiopian Government to make public any charges it has brought against Prof. Merera and I will continue to follow his case very closely.

The European Parliament adopted an urgency resolution on the violent crackdown on protesters in January 2016, which requested that the Ethiopian authorities stop using anti-terrorism legislation to repress political opponents, dissidents, human rights defenders, other civil society actors and independent journalists.

Since January 2016 the human rights situation in Ethiopia has not improved at all. Human Rights Watch reports that security forces have killed more than 500 people during protests over the course of 2016. Moreover the state of emergency has led to further significant restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and assembly. I therefore reiterate Parliament’s demands as set out in its resolution.

The European Parliament is aware of the difficult situation in Ethiopia and stresses the need to continue to support the Ethiopian people“.

Distributed by APO on behalf of European Parliament.

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