WASHINGTON - May 11 -
WHAT: The Daughter of Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giorgis has just agreed to meet with the newly-formed Congressional Ethiopia Caucus today to advocate against growing human rights violations in her country, and to demand the release of political prisoners.
Hooks: Ethiopian Elections, May 15. Global protests by Ethiopian ex-pats May 14. DC Protest by Ethiopians at State Department May 16 (8 a.m.)
WHO: Ghennet Girma, daughter of Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giorgis; Kumi Naidoo, chair, Global Action Against Poverty (GCAP/ONE Project); Lynn Fredrikkson, advocacy director for Africa, Amnesty International
WHERE: 2255, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
WHEN: TODAY, Thursday, May 11, 1:30 p.m.
Secondary Event: Tomorrow, Friday, May 12 at 3 p.m., TransAfrica Forum 1629 K Street, NW, Suite 1100, Washington, D.C.
Background: A government crackdown in Ethiopia, following a wave of political unrest, has left opposition politicians, journalists, intellectuals and aid officials behind bars since November 2005. Among the 150 political prisoners detained is Daniel Bekele, the policy manager for Action Aid International in Ethiopia. Bekele is also the Ethiopia representative of the Global Call for Action Against Poverty (GCAP).
Two weeks ago, a high level delegation of African civil society leaders went to Ethiopia to raise concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in Ethiopia and the fate of political detainees.
Today, members of this delegation, alongside the daughter of the president of Ethiopia, will meet with the newly-formed Congressional Ethiopia Caucus to discuss the growing concerns regarding human rights violations in Ethiopia, and to demand the release of political prisoners.
A closed discussion of top NGO leaders will follow tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the TransAfrica Forum. Members of the media are invited to attend.