17 June 1996

H.E. xxxxxxxxxxxx

Your Excellency,

We, the undersigned Ethiopians in the diaspora and friends of Ethiopia present our regards to your excellency and have the honour to express our deep sadness by the latest human rights abuse committed by the security forces of the Tigre Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF/EPRDF), the ruling party in Ethiopia.

In addition to the continued imprisonment of political leaders and professionals such as Professor Asrat Woldeyes (President of the All Amhara People Organization and former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of Addis Ababa University), Mr. Abera Yemaneab (Vice chairman of the Coalition of Ethiopian Democratic Forces), Fitawrari Mekonnen Dori (Vice Chairman of the Southern Ethiopia Peoples Democratic Union and former Vice Minister of Information), Professor Alemayehu Teferra (President of Addis Ababa University), Mr. Tsegaye Gebre Medhin (a veteran opposition leader), etc.,

The TPLF/EPRDF regime has recently arrested Dr. Taye Wolde Semayate, upon his return to the country from a working visit abroad. Dr. Taye Wolde Semayate is the president of The Ethiopian Teachers Association (ETA) and one of the forty two professors who were summarily dismissed from their teaching/research positions at Addis Ababa University some two years ago.The ETA is the longest surviving professional organization and the second largest trade union in the country. Its membership is close to 120,000 and members are scattered all over the country. The dismantling of educational, economic and social institutions has been the main characteristic of the self styled government of Meles Zenawi during the last five years. We fear that the latest illegal action of the ruling regime in Ethiopia will have far reaching consequences to the teaching-learning process in the country. Further, on the political front, such despicable activities will only worsen the current quagmire that the nation is finding itself in. Consequently, we are appealing to your excellency to use all your political and economic influences against this ethnocentric regime; so that Dr. Taye Wolde Semayate and all other prisoners of conscience will be set free immediately, and without condition.

We, Ethiopians in the diaspora and friends of Ethiopia take this opportunity to reassure your excellency our highest considerations.


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