The International Oromo Lawyers Association (IOLA) and the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa signed a memorandum of Understanding on 10 April, 2017 to coordinate their works in areas of dissemination and increasing awareness of Human Rights knowledge among the Oromos in diaspora as well as to jointly gather and document as much as possible facts about the violation of human rights of the Oromos people by the Ethiopian government. The goal is not only to increase awareness about the need for respect of human rights by the government but to also prepare facts about the violations that are already committed against our people for future reference and submission to the attention of the international community to hopefully bring the perpetrators to the court of justice.
Collecting, verifying and documenting such facts of abuses is a daunting task especially under the prevailing circumstances in Ethiopia. It requires wide range of intervention, which is also difficult not only because IOLA and HRLHA have no official stands in Ethiopia but also because possible interlocutors in Ethiopia are functioning clandestinely risking their lives.
The undertaking requires our collective effort. However, we find it relatively easier if all of us, using whatever means at our disposal, try to collect, verify and share information with us for documentation and preparation of cases. The collection process is not complicated and does not require special tools. Just record, verify and share whatever you learn during your telephone conversations or connections through social media with members of your family, immediate neighbors or in your villages about abuses that occurred. As the saying goes, fifty lemons are a load for one person but just a perfume for fifty persons. Let us share the burden without feeling it as a burden but just as a moral responsibility. We are fully aware that we cannot stop the abuses of human rights under the current regime but we can let the world know about it, and possibly bring those responsible to justice.
That being the case, we are appealing to you, individual Oromos, Political Organizations, Oromo Women groups, Oromo youth Associations, Faith based communities and Oromo Professional Associations to take the project serious and start collecting and sharing relevant information with us, using one or both of the below official email addresses. You may wish to remain anonymous as long the information is verified.
Let us reach for our people, not only in seeking justice for those who are already suffering from the abuses but to also mitigate future occurrences of such abuse.