Officers Allegedly Responsible for Brutality Against Protesters Must be Held Accountable

Closeup_of_protesters_by_Nathan_Keirn

Target: Patricia M. Haslach, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia

Goal: Prosecute police officials allegedly responsible for brutality against student protesters.

Students are reportedly being arrested and killed for peaceful protest in Ethiopia. The alleged use of excessive force by security officers has led to three deaths and many injuries.

Students are allegedly being mistreated by the federal police for protesting against a government plan to expand the capital. The government plan for Addis Ababa would extend Ethopia’s capital and force the eviction of many residential land owners. Students at Haramaya University are voicing concerns over the plan and attempting to protect the rights of current residents. Though the protests have been peaceful, police interference has reportedly been violent and unjust. Pictures of wounded protesters are emerging on social media and seem to provide clear evidence of the mistreatment. Due to government censorship of the media, the alleged violations have not received proper attention.

Similar occurrences took place last year, when police officers opened fire at peaceful protesters which led to dozens of deaths and arrests of young students. Ethopia’s government is attempting to repress truthful coverage of these events in a misguided attempt to silence those who speak out about police brutality.

The Ethopian government is not doing its part to protect the rights of its young citizens. An independent investigation must occur into these alleged unlawful actions. Security forces should be prosecuted for the reported killings, injuries and unjust arrests. Demand that federal police be investigated and prosecuted for these potential crimes.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Haslach,

University students are reportedly being harmed and arrested for peacefully protesting the expansion of Ethiopia’s capital. Images of the alleged police brutality are emerging on social media, though direct media coverage on the issue is being censored by the Ethiopian government.

This is not the first time that officers have mistreated protesters for speaking out against their government. Last year, police officers opened fire without proper cause at dozens of students who were participating in similar demonstrations. This led to many deaths, injuries and arrests.

Police brutality in Ethiopia must be acknowledged and prevented. Students should feel safe to peacefully assemble and participate in the political conversation without brutal retribution from police and government forces. Young voices are a crucial aspect in making improvements for Ethiopia’s future and should be encouraged, not repressed. We urge you to investigate these potential violations and prosecute officials that are found guilty of police brutality.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nathan Keirn

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