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Human Rights crisis in Ethiopia and the implications of accountable
governement in East Africa
On June 8, 2018, AIUSA, Amnesty International Bronx chapter and a
coalition of US-based Africa diaspora groups, have organized a
conference in New York City focused on the human rights situation
inside Ethiopia and its implications for the region. The conference
The Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia and the Implications for
Accountable Government in East Africa will be held from 12-4 PM at
the New York Ethical Society, 2 W 64th St, New York, NY 10023.
The conference will focus on the Ethiopian diaspora but will also be
marketed to other east African diaspora from Kenya and Uganda and
will seek robust participation from the youth segments of these
We have invited some of the leading voices of civil society working
on these issues in the region as well as activists here in the
United States who have been supporting efforts in the region to
protect and expand political space, establish accountable
governments and ensure respect for human rights.
Among the individuals we have invited are:
1. ESKINDER NEGA , recently released former prisoner of conscience
2. Dr. BEKELE GERBA, recently released former prisoner of
conscience, one of the leaders of the Oromo Federalist Congress
English Professor at Addis Ababa University.
3 ANDUALEM ARAGIE, recently released former prisoner of conscience,
Vice President and Press Secretary for the Unity for Democracy and
Justice Party (UDJP).
4. Dr. AWOL ALLO, lecturer at Keele University in the UK. He also
taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science
(LSE). Dr. Awol has published many academic articles in reputable
journals. He has been a frequent guest analyst on the mainstream
media like the BBC and Al-Jazeera on issues related to Ethiopia and
Horn of Africa.
1. HON.JAMES ORENGO , Senate Minority leader in the Kenyan
Parliament and prominent activist and lawyer.
Was awarded the title of Senior Counsel by former Kenyan President
Kibaki. Orengo also led efforts to end single-party rule in Kenya
and establish multiparty elections.
2. IRUNGU HOUGHTON, Executive Director of Amnesty International
Kenya, helped launch Shule Yangu Campaign Alliance aimed at
protecting public schools from illegal land grabs was in involved in
the Release for Political Prisoners campaign in 1991, I Mothers in
Action campaign that focused on the rape of 60 school girls at St.
Kizito as well as working on ethnic clashes around elections.
1. KIZZA BESIGYE - Ugandan physician, politician, and former
military officer in the Uganda People's Defense Force. He served as
the president of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) political
party and was an unsuccessful candidate in Uganda's 2001, 2006,
2011, and 2016 presidential elections, losing all of them to the
incumbent Yoweri Museveni.
1. ANA GOMES, a member of the European Union Parliament from
Portugal and leading advocate for human rights in Ethiopia.
We have also invited several US-based activists who will be able to
provide insight and firsthand experiences about engaging in
solidarity work on these issues from the United States.
The conference will focus on closing political space, human rights
defenders (HRDs) in the region and the implications of the current
human rights crisis in Ethiopia.
1. Raise awareness about closing political space in the region both;
Kenya and Uganda have serious human rights challenges and HRDs top
the list of people at risk
2. Build links and solidarity among different diaspora groups and
get them engaged with Congress as we have been able to do with the
3. Offer platform for the regional activists to help articulate an
agenda for the future