Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 15:08:12 -0700
107th Congress, 1st Session
147 Cong Rec H 2251
REFERENCE: Vol. 147, No. 67
TITLE: HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN ETHIOPIA
SPEAKER: Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas
(Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to address the House for 1
minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas . Mr. Speaker, just a few minutes ago on this floor I attempted to
rise and speak out about the outrage of human rights violations in the country of Ethiopia.
Unfortunately, it was objected to. Mr. Speaker, what I cannot understand is how this House can
ignore the fact that police forces use excessive force to prevent students from vocalizing their
discontent in an academic setting. I understand that 41 brave individuals were killed on or near the
campus in Addis Ababa. Two thousand students were detained.
It is imperative that as we talk about human rights around the world, that we are ultimately
concerned that people who are our brothers and sisters are treated fairly. I am glad to know that the
2,000 students have been released, but this is not enough. There are dozens of persons arrested
without warrant, and they remain detained.
It is extremely important that we say to Ethiopia that freedom cannot be denied, and it is extremely
important that this floor and this House and Members of this House allow those of us who are
concerned about human rights violations in Ethiopia to get on the floor of the House and debate it
and ask that, in fact, we support human rights around this Nation. Mr. Speaker, I ask this Congress
to act on the human rights violations in Ethiopia. Mr. Speaker, as we consider the authorization bills
for our foreign policy agenda, it is necessary to recognize the continuing human rights abuses
practiced by governments in the Horn of Africa, particularly in Ethiopia.
The United States Department of State must carefully investigate the continuing human rights abuses
in Ethiopia. Just recently, I am outraged by the recent violence in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, especially
the loss of life in the face of peaceful demonstrations on the campus at Addis Ababa University on
April 11th. [*H2252]
I am deeply disturbed that police forces used excessive force to prevent students from vocalizing
their discontent in an academic setting. I understand that as many as 41 brave individuals were killed
on or near the campus at Addis Ababa University, while another 250 persons were injured in an
indiscriminate attack by the police forces. The recent action taken by police forces can never be
Although I have strongly spoken out against human rights abuses in Ethiopia before, I wholeheartedly
join the Ethiopian community in the United States in denouncing the indiscriminate killings that
recently occurred in Ethiopia. Justice must be served swiftly and fairly even though the brutal attack
has already exacted an unimaginable toll.
Further, I am somewhat relieved that approximately 2,000 students who were detained by police
have now been released. That is not enough, however. As some of you may know, the U.S.
Department of State is concerned that dozens of persons who were arrested without warrant remain
detained. The United States Government must vigorously call upon the Government of Ethiopia to
promptly and unconditionally release all the students that remain in detention. Their freedom cannot
In the past, I successfully fought for a legislative measure that would prohibit the Government of
Ethiopia from receiving aid until human rights abuses are eliminated. We must do more. The people
of Ethiopia deserve to be treated humanely by their government. Mr. Speaker, in the words of
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "We believe that the only whole man is a free man." I hope we can
support efforts to bring human rights abuses by government actors in Ethiopia to a halt.
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD -- EXTENSIONS
Wednesday, May 16, 2001