Statement From Addis Ababa University Students
Ethiopian Student Association International
April 23, 2001
Posted to the web April 23, 2001
This is to inform you that we, students of Addis Ababa University (AAU), are in grave danger. Some of the students, after being forced to leave the campus, took shelter in churches found in Addis Ababa, 'Kideste Mariam', 'St. Markos' etc. Since then, they have been seriously assaulted and have been taken to detention places.
This all happened as a result of the offending response given from the Ministry of Education to the reaction of AAU students. Since there has been bias in reporting of the recent events, we want the world to hear our side of the story. The following are the issues we want to emphasize to all Ethiopians residing in foreign lands and the international community.
1. We, students of AAU, were seriously assaulted and threatened by the Police Force while waiting for the appearance of the Ministry of education, Mrs. Genet Zewdie on April 11, 2001. Mrs. Genet herself witnessed the brutality of the police. Because of the attack of the police on students on campus and in their dormitories more than 50 of them were seriously wounded and one female student has died. This move that was taken by the police is clearly in violation of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia's Constitution Articles 30 and 31. Now, therefore, we demand that the particular institution, which sent the police, forces to AAU campus to appear before the court for trial.
2. We want to inform Ethiopians and the international community that students were not responsible for public and private property destruction that occurred here in Addis Ababa on April 18, 2001. The delay of the ministry of education in responding to the demands of AAU students led to the senseless destruction. While the destruction was going on, most students were leaving the campus holding their luggage.
3. We want the safety of all students to be guaranteed before we can resume our education.
4. We want our early demands to be answered before going back to school.
5. We need our fellow students who are imprisoned, to be freed.
6. We still need a date to be fixed for the campus police to leave and be replaced by civil guards. We also need our management problems to be solved.
7. We want to inform the world that other Universities and Colleges in Ethiopia have insisted that the demands of AAU students be answered. But due to the blackout by the government media their demands have not been heard.
Article 30 of the FDRE constitution: “ Every one has the right to assemble and to demonstrate together with others peaceably and unarmed, and to petition.”
Article 31 of the FDRE constitution: “Every person has the right to freedom of association for any cause or purpose. Organizations formed in violation of appropriate laws or to illegally subvert the constitutions order or which promote such activities are prohibited.”
Copyright © 2001 Ethiopian Student Association International. Distributed by
AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).