Ethiopia Faces US Human Rights Bill Vote

Rep. Mike Coffman (center) is one of the sponsors HR128. (Photo: Ethio-American Civic Council/Twitter)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

March 24th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) — Next month the U.S. Congress is scheduled to vote on a resolution condemning the continuing violations of constitutionally guaranteed human rights in Ethiopia.

Among other issues the resolution denounces “excessive use of force by Ethiopian security forces; the arrest and detention of journalists, students, activists, and political leaders who exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of assembly and expression and the abuse of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to stifle political and civil dissent and journalistic freedoms.”

The resolution entitled H. RES. 128 has gained momentum and urgency in recent days picking up nearly 100 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives as Ethiopia has devolved into another round of political turmoil and state of emergency.

Ethio-American Civic Council, a community advocacy group based in Colorado, stated via social media that they “now have 98 co-sponsors in the House and 25 co-sponsors in the Senate.”

“I’m happy to announce that after months of hard work (by all involved) #HRes128 is scheduled for a vote the week of April 9,” Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado, one of the main backers of the bill twitted this week. “The fight for respect of human rights & inclusive governance in #Ethiopia continues.”

The resolution calls on the U.S. Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury, “to apply appropriate sanctions on foreign persons or entities responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against any nationals in Ethiopia as provided for in the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act; and stand by the people of Ethiopia and support their peaceful efforts to increase democratic space and to exercise the rights guaranteed by the Ethiopian constitution.”

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