On Friday, July 13, 2012, Meles Zenawi’s killing squad entered the Awolia Mosque in Addis Ababa and killed, wounded and arrested peaceful muslim worshipers, whose only demand was – freedom of religion. In violation of international conventions and the longstanding culture and respect for religious tolerance in Ethiopia, federal police and Zenawi’s special forces turned the sacred place of worship into a killing field unseen and unheard of in the nation’s history.
This cowardly and heinous act is yet another reflection of the Ethiopian regime’s callous disregard for human life and the tenets of religious freedom. This barbaric act further exposes the determination of the TPLF regime to continue waging war on the Ethiopian people.
A government that respects the rights of its citizens to freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly in order to raise their grievances does not respond to such protests by using lethal force.
The Ethiopian muslim community’s demand for non-interference in their religious affairs cannot be solved by killing, arresting and mistreating protestors. Engaging in such a heavy handed manner and failing to find a solution to the legitimate demand for religious freedom can only further exacerbate the deepening crisis that has the potential to destabilize the entire region of the Horn of Africa.
Ginbot 7 is outraged by the various reports of protestors being beaten and imprisoned in response to peaceful demonstrations in recent weeks. We call for the immediate release of those detained and demand that those responsible for these brutal acts be brought to justice.
We call on the international community to condemn, in the strongest words possible, the wanton violence against Ethiopian muslims and rein in the rogue regime of Meles Zenawi.
Ginbot 7 calls on all Ethiopians to stand in solidarity with their Muslim brothers and sisters and to come together to bring an end to the ethnic dictatorship that is determined to bring chaos and destruction to our country.
Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy