Continued Violence in Academic Institutions

                               

                                     Continued Violence in Academic Institutions

HRLHA – Press Release

 January 20, 2012

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) is highly concerned about the never ending incidences of government-sponsored violence in academic institutions and workplaces in Ethiopian in general and in the regional state of Oromia in particular. A very recent case in point is the entering of armed government security forces into the campus of Wollega University in Nakamte, Oromia, and opening fire onto students standing in front of their dormitories. In this violence which occurred on the 7th of January, 2012, two students, namely Lenjissa Ragassa and Fayissa Mosissa were taken to Naqamte Hospital with bullet wound on the leg and a serious injury on the head respectively. At the same time, the armed security agents who drove into the University compound in a track with plate number OROMIA 0065 apprehended about 15 and took them to yet unknown destination. The whereabouts and the situations of those students are not known. According to HRLHA correspondents, the violent action against the students was a response to a mere demand by the students for improvements in the students’ meal.

Prior to that three students of this same Wollega University (namely Katama Sorii, Boggala Gonfa, and Caala) have been expelled from the University for allegedly instigating violence on the campus.

In a similar extra-judicial action taken by armed security agents on the campus of Adama University in Adama, Oromia, on Dec 29, 2011, seven Oromo Students were arrested and taken into custody. The students were:

1.  Gaaddisaa Tashoomee

2.    Damee

3.    Amadien Mohammad

4.    Araggaa Tashoomee .

5.    Jibaat – barataa

6.    Caffee and

7.    Kaasahuun

 

 

The allegation was that they raised questions on and/or relating to fundamental rights.

Also, 27 students have been detained from a school in Gimbi Town of Eastern Wollega in Oromia. These include:

1.     Dawit Tamasgeen

2.      Abbush Malkaamuu

3.      Hambisaa Baatirii

4.      Shimallis Moosisaa

5.       Kaasahuun Bantuu

6.      Jireenyaa Taammiruu

7.       Maarqos Kabbadaa

8.      Taarikuu Garbaa

9.      Alamaayyoo Habtaamuu

10.   Aliyyii Baatirii

11.    Namoomsaa Kabbadaa

12.   Numarsii Kabbadaa

13.   Meetii Kabbadaa

14.   Innawu Fiqaaduu

15.    Magarsaa Daani’eel

16.   Ismaa’el Ashabbir

17.    Baacaa Biraanuu

18.   Mitikkuu Tamasgeen

19.   Dirribaa Baatirii

20.  Waaqboon Awwaqaa

21.   Abdii Taaddasaa

22.  Kaasahuun Taakkalaa

23.  Iwunatuu Ashannaafii

24.  Alamaayyoo Mulgeetaa

25.   Misgaanuu

26.  Shoraa

27.   Odaa  and others

 

 

 

Although there was no clear and specific reason given for the mass arrest and detention of the students, the overall understanding is that the action is part of the persistent political agenda aimed at intimidating, harassing and indirectly coercing the younger generation in particular into submissiveness; and, by so doing, keeping the lid on potential mass uprisings.

It is recalled that a much wider and more severe violent actions have been taken against Oromo students in various colleges and universities in different parts of the country including Mizan University, Finfine/Addis Ababa University, Jimma University, and others in 2011 in particular. The HRLHA has issued Urgent Actions and/or Press Releases on most of those government-sponsored violence.

As it has been the case for over a decade under the TPLF/EPRDF governance, a handful of civil servants and peasants have also been targets of similar extra-judicially actions during the past month. Three government employees holding high administrative and managerial posts in Fincawa Sugar Factory, five civil servants working in different government/public offices in Wanci District of Western Showa, in Oromia, and seven peasants from Limmu Gidda District in Eastern Wollega Province in Oromia have been picked up at different times and places, and sent to prison. They were:

  1.  Mr. Sooreessaa Bookaa,
  2. Mr. Taadasaa Gamachuu,
  3. Mr. Fiqaaduu Bultoosaa (all from Fincawa Sugar Factory),
  4. Mr. Shawaal W/Rufaa`eel, Mr. Ayyalaa Dhaabbataa,
  5. Mr. Geetinnet Tsaggaayee,
  6. Mr. Dajanee Xurunaa,
  7. Mr. Toleeraa Badhaadhaa (all from Wanci),
  8. Mr. Ayyanaa Gammachu,
  9. Mr. Waaqjiraa Ayyaana,
  10. Mr. Alamayyoo Waaqjiraa,
  11. Mr. Gammachu Fufaa,
  12. Mr. Hundarraa Fayyisa,
  13. Mr. Dachaasaa Amanuu, and
  14.  Mr. Dirriibaa Raggaasaa (all peasants from Limmu Gidda District).

Violence of any form denies peace, security, and stability. Insecurity and/or instability in turn are undoubtedly counter-productive, and targeting the young people in schools, colleges and universities particular is destructive to not only the present but also to the generations to come. Therefore, HRLHA calls up on the Ethiopian Government to immediately halt such politically motivated, racial and discriminatory violence against the young and the relatively educated Oromo nationals, and ensure the wellbeing of those who were detained extra-judicially.  HRLHA also calls up on regional and international diplomatic, democratic, and human rights agencies to put pressure on the Ethiopian TPLF/EPRDF Government so that It allows the reigning of the rule of law.

The HRLHA is a non-political organization (with the UN Economic and Social Council – (ECOSOC)  Consultative Status) which attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. It works on defending fundamental human rights including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and association. It also works on raising the awareness of individuals about their own basic human rights and that of others. It encourages the observances as well as due processes of law. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies

 

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