US Senator asks new Ethiopia PM to release prisoners 

By Teshome Borago

United States Senator Marco Rubio asked the Ethiopian government to release Eskinder Nega, Andualem Aragie and other activists re-arrested recently in Addis Ababa, as Ethiopian regime nominated a new PM. With the hashtag “#expressionNOToppresion” the Republican US Senator expressed his massage on Twitter. Several members of his Republican Party (particularly Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman and NJ Congressman Chris Smith) have recently been active promoting human rights in Ethiopia, using US House Resolution 128.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Eskinder is an award winning journalist while Andualem Aragie is the leader of the UDJ opposition party in Ethiopia. Alongside a dozen other opposition activists and reporters, the two were re-arrested and put in a small prison in Gotera district of the Ethiopian capital city.

A close associate of Andualem Aragie told Zehabesha & Satenaw reporter on the inhuman condition of their jail. “Over 40 political prisoners are forced into a tiny cell,” informed the source.  Several online supporters and human rights activists have began social media campaign using the hashtags #RepealStateOfEmergency and #FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners

One of the journalists re-arrested, Temesgen Desalegn, has been sent to hospital after a severe injury.

European Union MP Ana Gomes recently retweeted a message by a UDJ affiliate diaspora group Ethiopian Republican Party (ERP) which demanded that new PM Abiy Ahmed release Andualem & co as his first step to reform. The tweet also recommended that Dr. Abiy “end 97% Tigre control of military and de-tribalize politics” as initial vital steps to progress in Ethiopia.

The imprisoned UDJ politician and journalists have yet to be charged, however they were accused by the police of displaying the old Ethiopian flag that promotes unity. After his original release, Andualem labelled ethnic politics as divisive and barbarism; adding that a lasting reform is change of policy, not the tribal change of the prime minister position in the ruling party.

Teshome Borago

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