Drop the politically motivated charge against Dr. Kersmo
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Pro-Democracy Activist on a Politically Motivated Trial in the UK
Dr. Taddesse Kersmo, a well-known Ethiopian dissident and pro-democracy activist fled his homeland due to political persecution in 2009 applied for political asylum and resides in North London with his British wife. On 5 July 2017 Dr. Kersmo, the Crown Prosecution Service of the British Government charged Dr Kersmo under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act of 2000, an Act strongly criticized by civil liberty groups for having the power to make Nelson Mandela a terrorist. Dr Kersmo was accused of downloading material available on Amazon and travelling to Eritrea but released on bail to appear at the High Court at a later date.
Dr. Kersmo, a devout Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, a scholar and researcher is a passionate defender of human rights and an uncompromising advocate for social justice. Dr Kersmo is a senior leader of Patriotic Ginbot 7 - Movement for Unity and Democracy in Ethiopia, a secular and liberal organisation established to fight brutal political repression and injustice inflicted on Ethiopians by the brutal regime in Ethiopia over the last 26 years.
The minority regime in Ethiopia, led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), an organisation listed in the Global Terrorism Database since 1980s, representing less than 6% of 100 million Ethiopian population, is accused of egregious violations of universally guaranteed human rights, extra-judicial killings, imprisonment and torture that is causing instability and contributing to the migration crisis in the Horn of Africa. The deplorable human rights record and the fear and terror the regime unleashes on its own people are very well-documented by august international rights groups as well as by the EU, the US State Department, , and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
In 2014, Dr. Kersmo was the victim of a high-profile cyber-attack by the Ethiopian regime against the Ethiopian exile community in the UK and in the US. The attack confirmed by Privacy International in collaboration with Citizen’s Lab was facilitated by the use of software developed and produced by the British-German company Gamma International. The Metropolitan Police and British Government have ignored this blatant contravention of international law against a British resident in the UK.
Britain is a country built on the values of freedom, justice and rule of law and with a declared foreign policy of promoting respect for human rights, freedom and democracy. So, it’s rather disturbing that the Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) has decided to bring to court a questionable case from evidential or public interest points of view, allegedly at the behest of the Ethiopian government, a brutal regime which has criminalised dissent and has been ruling with an iron fist for the last 26 years.
It’s bewildering why the UK is content to compromise its fundamental values of liberty and democracy to protect a presumed short term political interest and partnership with an authoritarian regime delivering nothing but boat loads of political refugees to British and Western shores that have become a burden to taxpayers.
As citizens of the world standing for freedom and social justice, we respectfully request the British Government to stand with the people of Ethiopia in their struggle for freedom and democracy against a repressive regime backed by China. We also appeal to the Metropolitan Police and CPS to drop the politically motivated charge against Dr. Kersmo. As the great statesman Edmund Burke noted “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing." We trust in British Courts to deliver justice in favour of liberty and freedom.
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