We Request Facebook to Stop Silencing Voices of Oromo Political and Human Rights Activists

We Request Facebook to Stop Silencing Voices of Oromo Political and Human Rights Activists

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Oromia Global Forum started this petition to Facebook

Please sign this petition to request Facebook to stop targeting accounts of Oromo political and human rights activists.

The Facebook accounts and pages of Oromo public figures, media, and Oromo activists have been frequently disabled or suspended by Facebook. Some have lost accounts with followers ranging from 20K to over 100K. The frequently cited main reason for the suspension or disabling of their accounts and pages has been alleged violation of Facebook community standards. However, it has become apparent that Facebook might have created some keywords based on frequent reports by Amhara racists masquerading as anti-hate speech group to target Oromo activists, and might have also been caught in the crossfire between the Ethiopian government and its supporters working to silence voices of freedom and justice on one side, and the Oromo activists advocating for human rights and liberty on the other side. There is a clear evidence that there is a campaign by the Ethiopian government and its diaspora Amhara allies to deny the Oromo activists any social media platform. On July 21, 2020, a website belonging to Amhara Diasporas that fan discord among nations and nationalities in Ethiopia announced the establishment of a group dubbed “network against hate speech,” in which the website directly identified Oromos as the main targets. This group has a Facebook page and frequently posts a campaign against one or more Oromo targets for reporting to Facebook. The group publishes success stories, including the removal of Facebook posts and suspension of the accounts of the Oromo activists or public figures. 

Among the Oromo public figures and activists whose Facebook accounts have been suspended or disabled once or more times are Maro Diriba Lammessaa (Jaal Marroo), Jaal Mo’ii, Tsegaye Ararsa, Yaya Bashir, Walabumma Oromiyaa (Abdulnasir Korsa), Deme Aseffa Negassa, Chali Ensermu Beyene, Raji Gudeta, Sisay A. Waqwaya (Gada Media Network), Kasech Rayaweyti, Qarsee Shukkoo Dhanqaa, Gammada Suute, etc. Gammada Suute, a journalist at Hegere News Network who has been using Facebook since 2009, for example, posted news about Oromo refugees who were killed in Sana’a, Yemen by Houthi rebels on March 8, 2021, and the content was removed by Facebook stating graphic violence. On May 4, 2021, he reported an attack on an Oromo woman by Somali police and the post was removed by Facebook stating nudity or sexual activity as the violated standard. On May 11, 2021, his Facebook account was irreversibly disabled citing reasons unrelated to the initial accusations.      

Some of the Oromo targets are journalists, lawyers, or activists. In the cases of journalists, Facebook suspended either the account of the prominent journalist or the Facebook page of the media they work on, resulting in the loss of fans and supporters and interruption of their media services.

For example, the Facebook page of Voice of Independent Oromia (Radiyoo Sagalee Walabummaa Oromiyaa) was recently deactivated by Facebook. Previously the Facebook pages of Walabumma News Network, OROMIA TODAY-OT, Hegere News Network (HNN) and Gada Media Network with tens of thousands of followers were deactivated by Facebook.

The Ethiopian government has an established track record of suppressing freedom of speech at home, and its tentacles extend into the foreign countries where the war on freedom of speech is waged by its proxy Amhara supporters who disguise as nationalist Ethiopians.

It is time to alert Facebook to stop falling for the hate campaign against the Oromos and to allow them the right to freedom of speech without frequent censoring based on reports from an organized campaign by Amhara racists and the Ethiopian government operatives.

Please sign this petition to request Facebook to stop targeting accounts of Oromo political and human rights activists.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!