Open letter to Her Excellency Minister of Education Genet Zewdie
Joint statement from: ESAI (Ethiopian Student Association International) & HOPE Task Force
We, the Ethiopian Students Association-International (ESAi) and HOPE Task Force appeal for your intervention to safeguard the rights of the Addis Ababa University students against the ruthless attacks unleashed on them by the police force.
As reported in Reuters on April 11, several riot police stormed Addis Ababa University and injured over 50 students who were holding a peaceful demonstration. The students were demanding their academic and political rights.
According to medical officials, the students suffered head injuries, broken arms and legs. BBC reported that: "Pools of blood, broken batons, shattered glass, and bullet holes in the wall were all that was left," "Students wept openly at what they say was an unprovoked attack."
This is totally outrageous and we should not allow this type of inhumane acts of ruthlessness and cruelty to continue in our esteemed institutions of higher learning.
We, members of the ESAI and HOPE taskforce demand that:
· AAU students get an immediate apology from the head of the police forces and a thorough investigation be carried out in order to bring the brutal policemen to justice;
· The students should be assured that this horrendous act of aggression and brutality would never happen again;
· The government should acknowleged and safeguard the students' rights to reform the student body union at AAU should be affirmed without any question;
· The installation of AAU's own police security is met, as well as the students' rights of inclusion and participation on issues and problems regarding our country in general and the university in particular, i.e. the nomination of a new presidency at AAU.
We trust in your good will and responsibility that you and your ministry will do your greatest to assure that this tragic event will not fall upon us again. Please send us your word and assurance on this matter.
Ethiopian Students Association-International
HOPE Task Force