State Representative 60-B
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jean Heyer
(612) 701-3874 / firstname.lastname@example.org
April 25, 2016 – Ilhan Omar strongly condemns the brutal crackdown on innocent unarmed peaceful protestors during the previous and current Oromo Protests.
“I stand with the Oromo struggle for freedom, justice and democracy in Ethiopia,” said Omar. “I urge the United States Government to stand by peaceful protestors and sanction Ethiopia, in the event it continues the current state-led violence in Oromia.
“The current protests in Oromia are not new. In April 2014, students from the Oromia region began protesting against the new Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan, which incorporates smaller towns surrounding Addis Ababa, displacing millions without compensation and endangering the economic livelihood of ethnic Oromo people in Oromia. This plan will ensure that millions of people in Oromia will be disposed of their land, their survival both in economic and cultural terms will be threatened. The Master Plan intends to expose Oromia’s natural habitat to risk, threaten economic livelihood and violate the Ethiopian constitution. As a result of the 2014 peaceful protests, over 140 people, mainly students, were mercilessly killed by Ethiopian security personnel. No independent investigation was conducted and civilians in Oromia were left burying their dead without any guarantee of justice.
“In November 2015, protests erupted again in the Oromia region. As a result, over 400 people have been killed in the past five months, thousands taken to detention camps, opposition leaders arrested and Martial Law was declared as a tactic to silence dissent. Ethiopia is an important strategic ally to the United States, but we must be wary of supporting governments that conduct in various human rights violations and condemn actions that equate to crimes against humanity.
“I call on public officials, the United States government and the international community to condemn the atrocities being committed against innocent unarmed civilians in Oromia, Ethiopia.”
Ilhan Omar is an experienced policy analyst, community educator and advocate. She currently serves as the Director of Policy Initiatives at Women Organizing Women. Ilhan has worked at the University of Minnesota, Best Buy, Minnesota Department of Education and most recently was a senior Policy Aide for Minneapolis City Council Member Andrew Johnson. Through her work as a policy analyst and community advocate, Ilhan has advanced important issues, including restorative justice, homelessness, and racial equity.