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HRLHA Urgent Action
February 16, 2015
According to a schedule released by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, citizens will go to the polls to elect a new government on 24 May 2015. It will be Ethiopia’s fifth national election since EPRDF came to power in 1991.
In connection with the coming National Election of Ethiopia, the ruling EPRDF government has begun to wage a widespread campaign to secure again the 99.6% of parliamentarian seats it has controlled since 2010- the seats it acquired by electoral fraud. As the election date of May 2015 approaches, the government of Ethiopia has unabashedly continued its systematic violence against opposition political parties’ leaders, members, and supporters. Candidates of the opposition political parties are the major targets in all regional states in the country including the capital city, Finfinne/Addis Ababa. For example, the information that the HRLHA has obtained through its correspondents indicates that hundreds of election candidates of the opposition OFC (Oromo Federalist Congress) party from most zones of Oromia Regional State have been arrested and sent to prisons.
In the most recent wave of arrests and imprisonments that has been going on since the first week of January, 2015 and which has touched almost all corners of Oromia, hundreds of OFC party leaders, members and supporters from all walks of life have been taken from their homes and work places and sent to prison.