Ethiopia, the internationally celebrated “Cradle of Humanity”, has of late become a country more synonymous with death than life— a place where peaceful demonstration results in the murder of hundreds of innocent civilians; a place where old men languish in prison for crimes not committed and the most educated, talented and productive members of society are forced to choose between self-censorship and self-sacrifice.
There simply comes a time when enough is ENOUGH.
There has been much attention given lately to the circulation of a non-violent civil-disobedience calendar, for which many have already been arrested, tortured and even killed. Such severe government retaliation is an unfathomable response to a publication peacefully advocating for the release of political prisoners, and must be exposed as such.
I have not yet come across an English translation of this calendar and would like to provide an unofficial version now:
WITHOUT RISKING GOVERNMENT RETRIBUTION, JOIN ME IN IMPOSING ECONOMIC SANCTIONS TO GET OUR POLITICAL PRISONERS RELEASED
1. Gradually, withdraw your funds from Ethiopian government and EPRDF private banks and deposit in private banks that are not associated with government agencies or agents
2. Break your existing relationship with EPRDF government or EPRDF party insurance agencies and deal with private, not government, agent insurance institutions
3. Use fliers and posters and graffiti to communicate slogans and messages in various parts of Ethiopia without risking your well being
4. Write letters and emails and make phone calls to EPRDF government officials to inform them of the agony they are creating and to plead with them to stop. Share contact information to government officials.
5. Use whatever safe means you find to expose and report government’s abuse of its power and its cruelty to the Ethiopian people including: human rights violation, extortion of country’s resources for personal use, embezzlement, unfair and heavy taxation on private industries, unfair competition with private industries, unfair practices in trade and legal system, heavy intimidation, etc. Please report your findings and facts firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Refrain from attending EPRDF government meetings. If you are forced to do so, do not participate or speak to demonstrate your opposition
7. Refrain from working for the illegal EPRDF government
8. Do not associate socially or professionally with federal or local government agents who are agonizing the Ethiopian people; plead with them to abstain from their cruel and abusive actions. The exclusion shouldn't be based on ethnic, religious and/or gender lines.
9. Do not use products and services made by EPRDF government and its agencies such as: Dashen Beer, Pepsi products, Addis Tea, NOC gas station, Mega book store, etc
10. Do not buy or use print and television media produced by EPRDF government and government related agencies such as: Reporter, Eftein, Fekat, The Reporter, Ethiopian Television and Radio News, various programs by Zemi connection (Mimi Sebhatu), EPRDF government officials question and answer sessions
11. Those who work for EPRDF government factories and industries, cooperate with our peaceful struggle by participating in industrial actions
12. Report on individuals and organizations that are doing business with TPLF trading agencies
13. Report individuals that are making their living through extortion of Ethiopia’s resources and abuse of the Ethiopian people. You can email your findings to email@example.com
14. Plead with foreign embassies, diplomats and governments for the release of political prisoners through letter writing campaigns
PS: The pictures on the Calendar are that of:
a. Engineer Hailu Shaul, Chairman, Kinijit
b. Ato Muluneh Eyauel, Secretary, Kinigit
c. Prof. Mesfin Weldemariam, Kinigit founder and human rights advocate
d. Ms. Birtukan Mideksa, Vice Chairman, Kinigit
e. Dr. Berhanu Nega, Mayor, Addis Ababa
f. Engineer Gizachew Sheferaw, Kinigit high commissioner