Sign this petition to demand, alongside the Oromo Community, the immediate release of all political prisoners in Ethiopia without any preconditions and an end to Ethiopian state violence. Sign this petition to also demand that the Ethiopian Government stop its extrajudicial killings across the country, lift the internet shutdown and stop the censorship of media and journalists.
On June 29, 2020, prominent Oromo artist-activist Hachalu Hundessa was gunned down and murdered in Finfinne (Addis Ababa), Ethiopia. The Oromo Community across the United States and around the world is shocked, devastated and pained by the assassination of Hachalu. Hachalu was a living legend, our hero, and the voice of the Oromo people. He was an artist who was able to musically capture the Oromo culture and aspirations for freedom, human rights and equality for the Oromo people in Ethiopia.
Hachalu’s music had been the soundtrack to the 2014-2018 Oromo Protests Movement, which led to the resignation of former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desagln and the toppling of the TPLF authoritarian regime. Hachalu had the unique capability to capture the Oromo struggle for equality and human rights in Ethiopia--a struggle that is now unfortunately still ongoing due to the continuation of extrajudicial killings, military command posts in the western and southern areas of the Oromia region, political imprisonment and the indefinite postponement of elections under current Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Prime Minister Abiy has failed to usher in democracy, respect for human rights and peace in Ethiopia. Hachalu criticized Prime Minister Abiy’s human rights abuses just one week before his assassiation. We believe Hachalu was targeted because of his identity and for sharing his criticisms and point of view unapologetically.
We have not only lost Hachalu. Our community continues to experience senseless killings and violence. Following Hachalu’s murder, the Ethiopian security officers shot and killed protestors who were mourning Hachalu and detained many Oromo political opposition group leaders and members, such as Bekele Gerba, Jawar Mohammed, Dejene Tafa, Dr. Shugux Galataa, Mikael Boran, Kennasaa Ayyaanaa, and dozens of journalists, activists, and civilians.
Two U.S. citizens who were visiting Ethiopia from their home state of Washington, Redwan Aman and Yusuf Beshir, were also illegally detained. The Ethiopian government also shut down a prominent media network and internet access across the country.
Oromos have experienced a long history of systemic marginalization, abuses, killings, imprisonment, all documented by human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. The Oromo Community is asking: when will these senseless killings stop? When will Ethiopia and its government recognize and value the human rights of Oromo citizens?
Sign this petition to demand, alongside the Oromo Community, the immediate release of all political prisoners in Ethiopia without any preconditions and an end to Ethiopian state violence. Ethiopian government must stop all extrajudicial killings, lift the internet shutdown and stop the censorship of media and journalists.