Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia

Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia


(Congressional Record)

Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 15:08:12 -0700

107th Congress, 1st Session

147 Cong Rec H 2251

REFERENCE: Vol. 147, No. 67




TEXT: [*H2251]




          (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

          be denied.


          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.






          Wednesday, May 16, 2001