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Stop the Killings in the Oromia Region (Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW))

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Press Release December 24, 2015
CREWIt is to be remembered that Center for the rights of Ethiopian women (CREW) issued a statement on May 3, 2014 condemning the killing of students and their supporters in various parts of Oromia region in Ethiopia. Sixteen students were killed at Ambo University alone and more than ten students at other universities in the region.  They were killed by government security forces for protesting against a new Integrated Development Master Plan of the city of Addis Ababa which the students believe is a plan to annex several towns in the area and displace Oromo farmers. Again, in the last few weeks we are witnessing the same merciless killings of peaceful protesters including women and children in the Oromia region.
Even though the Ethiopian government has reported only 5 deaths, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations have reported the number of deaths have reached more than 75. NO matter what the actual number is, CREW believes, “even one killing is one too many” for peaceful demonstration. Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch stated,  “The Ethiopian government’s response to the Oromia protests has resulted in scores dead and a rapidly rising risk of greater bloodshed, the government’s labeling of largely peaceful protesters as ‘terrorists’ and deploying military forces is a very dangerous escalation of this volatile situation.”
CREW is a women’s human rights organization. CREW advocates against abuses of rights perpetrated from any position of power against individuals or groups.  We believe in the sacredness of human lives and condemn its violations for reasons of group or other interests. We believe that, irrespective of creed or gender, human beings are equitably entitled to the safety and security of their persons.
CREW thus condemns the killings of unarmed civilians. In any civilized society citizens should have the right to protest peacefully without being gunned down. Freedom of speech and assembly are essential elements to develop a democratic government. That is also enshrined in the Ethiopian constitution. Violence should be condemned by all groups. Ethiopians worldwide, the international community and human rights organizations should condemn these inhumane actions taken by the Ethiopian security forces. The perpetrators who killed peaceful demonstrators must be brought to justice.
Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit, peace and human rights organization created to promote the rights of Ethiopian women worldwide. Address:  P.O Box 10412, Silver Spring, MD 20914, USA. E-mail:  [email protected] –