Ginbot 7 Press Release
In the twenty one years of the TPLF rule, the Ethiopian people and the world at large have witnessed mass killings, targeted killings, and indiscriminate killings of the young, old, women and children as young as 8 years old. In 2005, the mass killing in Ethiopia reached its climax when special security forces under the direct order from the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi savagely killed over 200 people as the world watched quietly. When Deputy PM Haile Mariam Desalegn took the oath of office and promised to walk on the same path as his predecessor, many Ethiopians lowered their expectation of witnessing a free, just and democratic Ethiopia in their life time.
In just a little over a month in office, PM Haile Mariam Desalegn has kept his promise of staying the course of his predecessor in gunning down peaceful demonstrators on the streets of Ethiopian cities. On Sunday, October 21, 2012, Haile Mariam Desalgen mercilessly took the lives of his first four victims in a standoff that started inside a Holy Mosque in the Amhara zone. Two of his young victims were frog marched by security forces and shot execution style at the nearby police station while the other two were shot and killed inside the Mosque compound. According to reliable local sources, there are many people who are seriously wounded and the death toll may increase by two fold.
Ginbot 7, Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy categorically denounces the barbaric killing of innocent civilians and holds Haile Mariam Desalegn and his associates accountable for the lives lost. Ginbot 7 acknowledges that the Muslim community in Ethiopia has been waging a legitimate struggle in Ethiopia for the past 11 months. The demands are simple and crystal clear – they have asked the regime for freedom of worship and for the right to elect their religious leaders in their own way and place of their own choosing. These rights are protected by the Ethiopian constitution which the regime is obligated to respect.
Ginbot 7 urges Ethiopians inside and outside of Ethiopia to stand together with our Muslim brothers and sisters in this difficult time. Ethiopians of Muslim and Christian faith must stand together as a community to continue the struggle for freedom, justice, democracy and equality understanding and believing that we live in the context of each other, and acknowledging that the source of our freedom is our collective struggle.
We ask that donor nations and international organizations get their act together and start holding the brutal regime in Ethiopia accountable for its heinous crimes and its wanton disregard for the sanctity of life. All civilized nations should strongly condemn this act of terror against the Muslim community in their place of worship.