Friday, October 20, 2006

And the Second Annual Wonqville STFU Awards Go To...

It’s a couple of months too early for the Second Annual Wonqville STFU Awards, but friends, these are strange times.

This year’s award goes to…

… Ethiopian Ambassador to Britain, one His Excellency Ato Berhanu Kebede.

God help the man. It takes a special kind of self-loathing and mediocrity to articulate the Ethiopian government’s unhinged response to a damning report on its post-election massacres.

Listen to why Ato Berhanu deserves the honor. (Fast forward to minute 3:00. Thanks to Ethiomedia for the link.)

Seriously, EPRDF. You’ve been in power… how long? Can’t you manage to get just one person with a respectable… ah, never mind.

So, with resignation, we present Ato Berhane: intractably incoherent, intoxicatingly witless and brazenly, oh-so wantonly inerudite.

Just… just… STFU!

(Honorable mention to Jeffrey Sachs, fist recipient of the W-STFU Award. Has he STFUpped? We don’t hear from him a lot these days.)


Ethiopian Politics has a great round up of the unfolding events in Ethiopia, especially about the EU human rights lawyer, Yalemzewd Bekele, arrested by the Ethiopian government. There are links to Amnesty International alerts about Yalemzewd, up-to-date news stories and information.


Anonymous inde hewan said...

Seguewaying right from ETWonq's last words:

From the action corner embedded in Wonq's comment site: Y'all: Please ASAP bombard all manner of EC contact addresses with emails, faxes, phone calls. Given their power as an essentially diplomatic/political body of the heavy-weighing EU, they *perfectly* have it within their reach to ensure that Yalemzewd gets released and is protected from torture.

And y'all have it within you to give the EC the right push and the right incentives to do what they have to do. So: Just do it! Call, Fax, Email! I'll follow up this comment with with another that will contain a letter I just zapped to them, as well as full contact info of the relevant EC offices.

Last but not least: I have had the pleasure once to meet in person with Yalemzewd at length. A truly impressive woman: Highly intelligent, amazingly dynamic, inspiringly brave, fully dedicated to the pro-democracy cause. We saw what happened to others like her who were accused of distributing the nonviolent civic disobedience calendar: As Amnesty reports, one was severely tortured, three others died from torture. Please do your part to make the EC take her out of the clutches of torturers.

Find letter and addresses next...

Inde Hewan

5:28 PM, October 20, 2006  
Anonymous inde hewan said...

Action Corner Part II: Here is the letter I wrote and the full addresses of the EC triumvirate for Ethiopia:

Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2006
Subject: Employee of the European Commission arrested by Ethiopian government authorities

Tim Clarke, Head of Delegation to Ethiopia
Hervé Delphin, Member of the Cabinet (oversees EC programs in Ethiopia)
Louis Michel, Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid

Human Rights Watch, attn. Peter Takirambudde, Executive Director (Africa Desk)
European Union Office, Amnesty International
Charles Schaefer, Country Specialist for Ethiopia, Amnesty International
European Union Delegation to Ethiopia
Horn of Africa Division, Voice of America
The Guardian newspaper

Dear Mr. Clarke, Mr. Delphin, and Mr. Michel:

I am deeply troubled by the information recently learned that an employee of the European Commission in Ethiopia, Ms. Yalemzewd Bekele has been arrested yesterday by Ethiopian government authorities close to the Ethiopian-Kenyan border. She is being accused of having helped to distribute a calendar calling for nonviolent civil disobedience against repressive practices by the Ethiopian government. Amnesty International recently reported on Ms. Bekele's case and expressed the concern that she is at risk of torture. AI also reported on the confirmed case of severe torture of Mr. Alemayehu Fantu, as well as the deaths resulting from grave torture of three individuals -- all related to the same charge levied against Ms. Bekele. Please see the following links for the above mentioned Amnesty International reports:

I am gravely concerned for Ms. Bekele, a woman lawyer and professional employee of the European Comission for over two years. I strongly urge you to use the full power of your office to ensure that Ms. Bekele be released immediately and unconditionally. I also expect that you will do your utmost to prevent that she be tortured or otherwise ill-treated.

As a major international institution, the European Commission has the moral and legal responsibility to protect its staff from violence committed against them by governments of countries in which it operates. In addition to this responsibility that I hope you take very seriously, I believe that if Ms. Bekele continues to be held in detention of if she in any way is mistreated by government forces, the EC as a whole will incur damage, as the institution may lose the trust of its staff that they would be ensured that their employer will do what is in its power to protect them from physical harm and violence by governments with which the EC conducts business. Furthermore, I believe that the EC will also lose the trust of European citizens, the vast majority of whom would strongly condemn anything other than strong and decisive action by the EC to ensure the physical safety of its staff.


Next, here are the relevant EC phone numbers, faxes, and emails to contact:

1. Head of Delegation to Ethiopia
Tim Clarke
Tel: +251-11-661 2511
Fax: +251-11-661 2877
Main switchboard phone number: +32-2-299 1111

2. Member of the Cabinet (oversees EC programs in Ethiopia)
Hervé Delphin
Tel: +32-2-295 1820
Fax: +32-2-292 1485
Main switchboard phone number: +32-2-299 1111

3. Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid
Louis Michel
Tel: +32-2-295 9600 or +32-2-295 2718
Fax: +32-2-292 1485
Main switchboard phone number: +32-2-299 1111

5:31 PM, October 20, 2006  
Anonymous ETW said...

Inde Hewan,

As always you come to the rescue. I am on it. I hope readers will follow suit. Really appreciate your practical approach.

We should also research women's rights organizations and send the media a press release.

Much thanks, sister.

5:49 PM, October 20, 2006  
Anonymous ye filwiha lij said...

oh my, my .... so, this is our ambassador??????

thank you inde hewan ... great job as sure many people will answer your call!!!

7:46 AM, October 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

was bedeutet Weichegud, wie spricht man es aus ????

What does Weichegud mean, how do you pronounce it???

2:37 PM, October 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Clever" move, concern not practical solution for our real poverty & backwardness but focus on the demise of a regime. Is it only African/Ethiopian mentality or else the general norm all over the world?

Popular "elected" party fighting for war bouty before sizing war.

Cheers for what?
Change for what?
What type of stagnation?
A curse or a choice?

6:37 PM, October 21, 2006  
Anonymous maleda said...

oh get a grip.

2:55 AM, October 22, 2006  

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