AL MARIAM'S COMMENTARIES

DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS, SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER

al mariam

al mariam
Location
San Bernardino, California, U.S.A.
Birthday
January 18
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Professor
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California State University, San Bernardino
Bio
Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino. His teaching areas include American constitutional law, civil rights law, judicial process, American and California state governments, and African politics. He has published two volumes on American constitutional law, including American Constitutional Law: Structures and Process (1994) and American Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights (1998). He is the Senior Editor of the International Journal of Ethiopian Studies, a leading scholarly journal on Ethiopia. For the last several years, Prof. Mariam has written weekly web commentaries on Ethiopian human rights and African issues that are widely read online. He played a central advocacy role in the passage of H.R. 2003 (Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007) in the House of Representatives in 2007. Prof. Mariam practices in the areas of criminal defense and civil litigation. In 1998, he argued a major case in the California Supreme Court involving the right against self-incrimination in People v. Peevy, 17 Cal. 4th 1184, which helped clarify longstanding Miranda rights issues in criminal procedure in California. For several years, Prof. Mariam had a weekly public channel public affairs television show in Southern California called “In the Public Interest”. Prof. Mariam received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1984, and his J.D. from the University of Maryland in 1988.

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NOVEMBER 14, 2011 12:28AM

Ethiopians: November is to Remember!

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soldiers Remember June and November, 2005 

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it,” cautioned Albert Einstein. Because Germans who could have done something did not, on 9-10 November 1938, the Nazis killed nearly 100 innocent Jewish people and arrested and deported 30,000 others. They also burned thousands of Jewish synagogues and businesses.  That was Krystallnacht (Night of Broken Glass). It was the forerunner to the Jewish Holocaust.

On 6-8 June and 1-4 November 2005, following the Ethiopian elections that year, scores of unarmed men, women and children were killed by security personnel loyal to the ruling regime.  An official Inquiry Commission established by dictator Meles Zenawi documented that 193 unarmed Ethiopians demonstrating in the streets and others held in detention were intentionally shot and killed by police and paramilitary  forces and 763 wounded. The Commission completely exonerated the victims and pinned the entire blame on the police and paramilitary forces and those who had command and control over them: 

 

There was no property destroyed [by protesters]. There was not a single protester who was armed with a gun or a hand grenade (as reported by the government-controlled media that some of the protesters were armed with guns and bombs). The Commission members agreed that the shots fired by government forces were not to disperse the crowd of protesters but to kill by targeting the head and chest of the protesters.”

To testify against Evil is the moral and civic duty of the living. Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and the man the Nobel Committee called the “messenger to mankind”, reminds us all that as the survivors of the victims of Evil we have to make a choice:     

For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time. The witness has forced himself to testify. For the youth of today, for the children who will be born tomorrow. He does not want his past to become their future.”

For the past five years, I have sought to testify against Evil by bearing witness for the victims of June and November 2005, and for Ethiopia’s youth of today and for the children who will be born tomorrow. In 2007, I appeared in the court of world opinion and testified for the first time on behalf of the innocent victims of crimes against humanity.  I testified for them in 2008I testified for them in 2009and again in 2010.  I shall continue to testify because that is my way of making the “world a less dangerous place” for the powerless, the voiceless, the hopeless, the voteless, the defenseless, the nameless, the faceless, the jobless, the foodless, the landless, the leaderless, the homeless and the parentless. It is also my way of making the world a more accountable place for the conscienceless, the ruthless, the merciless, the remorseless, the reckless, the senseless, the shameless, the soulless, the thoughtless and the thankless.

The high and mighty who reigned over the 2005 massacres now sit ensconced in their stately pleasure domes drunk with power, consumed by hate and frolicking in decadence. They look down swaggering with hubris, sneering at justice, scorning truth, and desecrating the memory of the innocent. But recent history teaches a harsh lesson: “Truth and justice will not forever hang on the scaffold nor wrong cling to the throne forever.” Justice shall “roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

IQ in CongressAs we remember the martyrs of June and November, let us also remember the debt of gratitude we owe our Ethiopian heroes who stood up for justice and truth in revealing and documenting the horrific stories of the 2005 massacres. These monstrous crimes against humanity would have been swept into the dustbin of oblivion and lost in the mist of time but for the courageous and meticulous investigations carried out by Inquiry Commission chairman and vice chairman and former judges Frehiwot Samuel and Woldemichael Meshesha, lawyer Mitiku Teshome and human rights investigator/defender Yared Hailemariam. These individuals chose to testify and paid a high personal price for telling  the gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and mindbending truth about the massacres.  They now live in exile facing extreme hardship, separated from their families and unable to pursue the professions they cherished so much. 

judges 1 When the modern history of Ethiopia is written, their names will be listed at the very top for displaying courage under fire, hope in the face of despair, bravery in the face of personal danger, and unflinching fortitude in the face of extreme adversity. I can only offer them my profound thanks and express my deepest appreciation for what they have done. An entire nation, indeed an entire continent, owes them a heavy debt of gratitude: “Never have so many owed so much to so few!"

Remember the Martyrs of June and November 2005

victimsOn May 15, 2005, Meles Zenawi declared a State of Emergency in Ethiopia and brought all security and military forces in the country under his personal command and control: “As of tomorrow, for the next one month no demonstrations of any sort will be allowed within the city and its environs. As peace should be respected within the city and its environs, the government has decided to bring all the security forces, the police and the local militias, under one command accountable to the prime minister.”

On June 6-8 and November 1-4, 2005, the following individuals were gunned down by state security forces in street demonstrations or trapped in their cells at Kality Prison just outside the capital Addis Ababa. The victims enumerated below are included in the Testimony of  Yared Hailemariam, investigator for  the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) and human rights defender in exile (extremely graphic pictures included in report, reader discretion advised), before the Extraordinary Joint Committee Meeting of the European Parliament on Development and Foreign Affairs and Subcommittee on Human Rights, “Crimes Against Humanity in Ethiopia: The Addis Ababa Massacres of June and November, 2005”.   

The number of victims reported in the Inquiry Commission report list only those casualties for the particular dates in June and November. There is undisclosed evidence by the Commission which shows a much higher casualty figure than those reported if other dates in 2005 were included. No one has yet to be held accountable for these crimes against humanity. In fact, there is a confirmed list of at least 237 policemen who actually pulled the trigger to cause the carnage, and all of them are still walking the streets free today.  

Our heads bowed in honor and respect for these martyrs, our hearts filled with the hope of justice to flow like a mighty stream and our minds resolved in steely determination, let us read out the names of the victims and reflect on their sacrifices for the youth of Ethiopia today and the children who will be born tomorrow: 

1. Shibre Delelegn, age 23, female, shot in the neck and killed.

2. Yesuf Abdela, age 23, male, student at Kotebe Teachers’ College, shot in the back with two bullets and  killed. 

3. Hadra Shikurana, age 20, male, shot in the forehead and killed.

4. Nebiy Alemayehu, age 16, male, 10th grade student, shot in the chest on the way to school and killed.

5. Yonas Asseffa, age 24, male, shot through the right ear and killed.

6. Dawit Fekadu, age 18, male, shot in the chest and killed.

7. Melisachew Demissie, age 16, male, 6th grade student on the way to school to take his examination, shot in  the forehead and killed. 

8. Wessen Assefa, age 28, male, a trader, shot in the chest and killed.

9. Zulufa Surur, age 50, male, a mother of seven shot in the back while standing in the doorway of her house  and killed. 

10. Fekadu Negash, age 22, male, shot in the chest and killed as he stood near his residence.  

11. Abraham Yilma, age 16, male, brother of Fekadu (victim no. 10), upon hearing that his brother was shot by  the police, Abraham ran to aid his brother. As he lifted up his dying brother to help, a policeman shot him.  Both brothers died on the scene.   

12. Biniyam Dembel, age 19, male, shot and killed.

13. Negussie Wabedo and Mohammed Hassen, ages unknown, male, both individuals were shot in the forehead and killed. 

14. Beliyu Dufa, age 20, male, shot in the chest and killed.

15. Redela Kombado, age 26, male, an assistant to a taxi driver, shot in the chest and killed.

16. Milion Kebede, age 30, male, a cashier with Anbessa city bus, shot and killed on the way to work.

17. Getnet Ayalew, age 24, male, first shot and wounded in his right thigh. As a friend was helping him to reach a safe place, the policeman realized that he was still alive and shot him in the abdomen for the second time.  The friend ran away terrified. When Getnet’s family members came, the policeman took aim and  threatened to shoot them if they tried to help him. He bled for about half an hour and died in the hospital. 

18. Wassihun Kebede, age 22, male, shot in the head and killed.  

19. Dereje Damena, age 24, male, shot in the forehead and killed.

20. Esubalew Ashenafi, age unknown, male, shot and killed near his home.  

21. Addisu Belachew, age 23, male, a businessman and father of 3 children, shot in the eye and killed.  

22. Legesse Tulu, age 64, male, a carpenter and father of 5, shot and killed as he looked for his son.

23.  Jafar Seid, age 28, male, shot in the forehead and killed.   

24. Ashenafi Derese, age 22, male, shot and killed near his home.  

25. Girma Alemu, age 38, male, shot the chest and killed.  

26. Meki Negash, age unknown, male, shot and killed while going to mosque at Sebategna Agip.   

27. Desta, age 28, female, (her father listed at #28) shot in the chest and killed.   

28. Beliyu Bayu, age 20, male, shot in the left side of his body and killed.

29. Endalkachew Megersa, age 18, male, shot in the forehead and killed.

30. Demeke Kassa, age 24, male, shot in the forehead and killed.

31. Anwar Kiyar Surur, age 20, male, shot in the forehead and killed.

32. Kasim Ali, age 23, male, shot in the forehead and killed.

33. Berhanu Aynie, age estimated 20-25, male, shot and killed in front of Addis Ketema School.  

34. Imamu Ali, age 21, male, shot and killed.

35. Ermias Fekadu, age 20, male, shot and killed.

36. Aliyu Yusuf, age 20, male, shot and killed.

37. Tesfaye Delgeba, age 19, male, shot and killed.

38.  Habtamu Amensisa, age 30, male, shot and killed.

39. Gezahegn Mengesha, age 15, male, shot and killed.

40. Asnakech Asseffa, age 35, female, shot and killed.

41. Rebuma Eshete, age 34, male, shot and killed

42. Samson Negash, age unknown, male, shot dead killed. (Police record number 13097.)

43. Fekadu Haile, age unknown, male, shot and killed.    

45. Fekadu Hailu, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 13903.)

44. Mubarek, shot and killed. (Police record number 00426)

45. Beyene Nuru Bizu, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 00437.)

46. Abebe Antenehi, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 00441.)

47. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 00447.)

48. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 57351.)

49. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 00429.)

50. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 00438.) 

51. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 00425.)

52. Unidentified, shot and killed. (Police record number 00432.)

53. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 00428.)

54. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 00450.)

55. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 00431.)

56. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 00430.)

57. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 00436.)

58. Mitiku Wendima, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 00427.)

59. Tesfaye Adane Garo, age unknown, male, shot and killed.  

60. Tadele Kambado Awel, age unknown, male, shot and killed.  

61. Mubarek Mebratu, age unknown, male, shot and killed.  

62. Meteek Zeleke, age 24, male, shot and killed.   

63. Kibret Edelu, age 45, male, shot and killed.  

64. Mekoya Mebratu, age unknown, male, shot and killed.  

65. Alemayehu  Zewde, age 25, male, shot and killed.  

66. Fekadu Amele Delgae, age 32, male, shot and killed.  

67. Mesaye Adiss, age 30, male, shot and killed.  

68. Beailu Tesfay, age 22, male, student, shot and killed.   

69. Siraj Nure, age 18, male, student, shot and killed   

70. Abebech Bekele, age 57, female, shot and killed.

71. Etenesh Yimam, age 52, female, shot and killed while protesting the arrest of her husband, a CUD member.

72. Giksa Tolla Setegne, age 18, female, 6th grade student; shot and killed.  

73. Kebneshe Melke, age 50, female, a mother of 5 children; shot and killed.

74. Abyaneh Sissay, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

75. Tsegahun W/Michal, age unknown, male, college student, shot and killed.  

76. Yassin Nuredin, age 10, male, shot and killed while playing football.

77. Kebede Bedada, age 20, male, college student; shot and killed.   

78. Tadele Shere, age 28, male, daily laborer; shot and killed.  

79. Jaqema Bedane, age 20, male, student, shot and killed.  

80. Hassen Dulla, age 70, male, shot and killed.  

81. Hussen Hassen, age 30, male, shot and killed.  

82. Elfnesh Tekele, age 35, female, shot and killed.   

83. Belaye Dejene, age 15, male, shot and killed.

84. Teshome Addis, age 71, male, shot and killed.

85. Bademaw Mogese, age 20, male, shot and killed.

86. Dessalgne Kende, age 20, male, shot and killed.

87. Yesuf  Mohammed, age 20, male, shot and killed.

88. Mulu Muche, age unknown, female, shot and killed.

89. Zemedhun Agedw, age 18, male, shot and killed.

90. Tewodros Zewde, age 17, male, shot and killed.

91. Sintayehu Estifanos, age 14, male, student, shot and killed.

92. Tewodros Kebede, age 25, male, shot and killed.

93. Ambaw Legesse, age 60, male, shot and killed.

94. Zelalem Ketsela, age 31, male, shot and killed.

95. Degene Yilma Gebre, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

96. Melaku Mekonnen Kebede, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

97. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed.  (Police record number 359180.) 

98. Mebratu Wubshet Zewide, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

99. Mitiku Zeleqe, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

100. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 359180.)

101. Yohannes Hailu, age unknown, male, shot and killed. 

102. Walye Hussen Melese, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 21520.)

103. Haile Girma, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

104. Sintayehu Wubet Melese, shot and killed.

105. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

106. Fikremariam Kumbi, age unknown, male, shot and killed.  

107. Kassa Beyene Rora, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

108. Ayalewu Mamo, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

109. Mulualem, age unknown, male, shot and killed.  

110. Getu Shewangizawu, age unknown, male, shot and killed.  

111. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 21526.)

112. Henok Qetsela, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

113. Alemayehu Afa Zewude, age unknown, male, shot and killed.    

114. Unidentified, age unknown, male,shot and killed. (Police record number 21760.)

115. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 21761.)

116. Tieizazu Welde Mekuriya, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

117. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 21763.)

118. Tewodros Gebrewold, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

119. Fikadu Made, age unknown, male, shot and killed.   

120. Shewarega Bekele, age unknown, male, shot and killed.   

121. Mesfin Gebrewold, age unknown, male, shot and killed.   

122. Bisrat Tessfaye, age unknown, male, shot and killed. 

123. Shemsu Kelid, age unknown, male, shot and killed.    

124. Eyob Gebremdihin, age unknown, male, shot and killed.   

125. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 13087.)

126. Unidentified, age unknown, male, shot and killed. (Police record number 13088.) 

127. Abaynehi Sara, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

128 Admassu Tegegne Ababe, age unknown, male, shot and killed.

129. Habtamu Zegeye, age unknown, male, shot and killed.  

Mass Killing of Prisoners at Kaliti Prison on November 2, 2005

(Prisoners massacred while trapped in their cells.) 

1. Tteyib Shemsu Mohammed, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection.  

2. Sali Kebede, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.  

3. Sefiw Endrias Tafesse Woreda, age unknown, male, charged with rape.  

4. Zegeye Tenkolu Belay, age unknown, male, charged with robbery.  

5. Biyadgligne Tamene, age unknown, male, charges unknown.  

6. Gebre Mesfin Dagne, age unknown, male, charges unknown.   

7. Bekele Abraham Taye, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism.

8. Abesha Guta Mola, age unknown, male, charges unknown.  

9. Kurfa Melka Telila, convicted of making threats.

10. Begashaw Terefe Gudeta, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [breach of peace].

11. Abdulwehab Ahmedin, age unknown, male, charged with robbery.

12. Tesfaye Abiy Mulugeta, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection.

13. Adane Bireda, age unknown, male, charged with murder.

14. Yirdaw Kersema, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.

15. Balcha Alemu Regassa, age unknown, male, charged with robbery.  

16. Abush Belew Wodajo, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.  

17. Waleligne Tamire Belay, age unknown, male, charged with rape.

18. Cherinet Haile Tolla, age unknown, male, convicted of robbery.  

19. Temam Shemsu Gole, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 

20. Gebeyehu Bekele Alene, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.  

21. Daniel Taye Leku, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.   

22. Mohammed Tuji Kene, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 

23. Abdu Nejib Nur, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 

24. Yemataw Serbelo, charged with rape.  

25. Fikru Natna’el Sewneh, age unknown, male, charged with making threats.

26. Munir Kelil Adem, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism.  

27. Haimanot Bedlu Teshome, age unknown, male, convicted of infringement.  

28. Tesfaye Kibrom Tekne, age unknown, male, charged with robbery.  

29. Workneh Teferra Hunde, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.   

30. Sisay Mitiku Hunegne, charged with fraud.

31. Muluneh Aynalem Mamo, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.  

32. Taddese Rufe Yeneneh, charged with making threats.  

33. Anteneh Beyecha Qebeta, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection.  

34. Zerihun Meresa, age unknown, male, convicted of damage to property.  

35. Wogayehu Zerihun Argaw, charged with robbery.

36. Bekelkay Tamiru,  age unknown, male, no charges indicated.   

37. Yeraswork Anteneh, age unknown, male, charged with fraud. 

38. Bazezew Berhanu, age unknown, male, charged with engaging in homosexual act.  

39. Solomon Iyob Guta, age unknown, male, charged with rape.  

40. Asayu Mitiku Arage, age unknown, male, charged with making threats.  

41. Game Hailu Zeye, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [public disorder]

42. Maru Enawgaw Dinbere, age unknown, male, charged with rape.  

43. Ejigu Minale, age unknown, male, charged with attempted murder.  

44. Hailu Bosne Habib, age unknown, male, convicted of providing sanctuary.  

45. Tilahun Meseret, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.  

46. Negusse Belayneh, age unknown, male, charged with robbery.   

47. Ashenafi Abebaw, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.  

48. Feleke Dinke, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.  

49. Jenbere Dinkineh Bilew, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [public disorder].

50. Tolesa Worku Debebe, age unknown, male, charged with robbery.  

51. Mekasha Belayneh Tamiru, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism.

52. Yifru Aderaw, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.   

53. Fantahun Dagne, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.     

54. Tibebe Wakene Tufa, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection.  

55. Solomon Gebre Amlak, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism.  

56. Banjaw Chuchu Kassahun, age unknown, male, charged with robbery.

57. Demeke Abeje, age unknown, male, charged with attempted murder.  

58. Endale Ewnetu Mengiste, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.  

59. Alemayehu Garba, age unknown, male, detained in connection with Addis Ababa University student  demonstration in 2004. 

60. Morkota Edosa, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.   

“I remember the killers, I remember the victims, even as I struggle to invent a thousand and one reasons to hope.  Because I remember, I despair. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair. Hope is possible beyond despair.” Elie Wiesel 

Photo inset 1, L to R- Inquiry Commission Chair Frehiwot Samuel, Congressman Donald Payne, attorney Mitiku Teshome and Amnesty International's Lynn Fredriksson at a Congressional hearing held on November 16, 2006.

Photo inset 2, L to R- Inquiry Commission Chair Frehiwot Samuel, Co-Chair Woldemichael Meshesha, and attorney Mitiku Teshome.

Photo inset 3- Collage of some of the victims of the massacres of June and November, 2005.

 

  


 

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