Critical Thinking

This have been imprisoned Tortuieand rape of prisoners


This section of the paper
systematically examines Ethiopia’s human rights record by commenting on the
actions of the government in the light of the founding principles of the U N’s
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article by article


Article 1: Freedom from Discrimination

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Article 1 states that all human beings
are born free and equal in dignity and rights They are endowed with reason and
conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of equity Article 2
rejects discrimination of any kind such as that based on race, color, gender,
language, religion, political or other opinion, national oi social origin,
property, birth, or other status


Article 3: The Right to Life and

Article 3 states that everyone has the
right to life, liberty, and security However, accordingto the 1992Amnesty
International report, over 30,000 Oromo nationals were arrested following the
Oromo Liberation Front’s (OLF) withdrawal from a transitional government Oromo
Support Groups (OSG) reported that from 1991 to 2002, the organization recorded
2,915 extra-judicial killings and 854 disappearances of civilians suspected of
supporting groups opposing the Ethiopian government Thousands of civilians have
been imprisoned Tortuieand rape of prisoners are commonplace There are
currently more than 30, 000 political prisoners in the Oromia region and
100,000 Oromos have fled the country” Those who were killed, arrested, and
disappeared, or fled the country are those who foresaw the tragedy and opposed
the policies of the current government in Ethiopia.

This mass political imprisonment,
killing, firing from positions, and migration has resulted in a severe shortage
of educated workers in Oromia and very serious social and political problems in
Oromo society, including the exacerbation of the current famine and the
HIV/AIDS epidemic


Article 7: Ownership of’ Propexty

Atticle 7 states that everyone has the
right to own property alone and in association with others According to an Amnesty
International Urgent Action lette~,a~b’ out 150 Oromo students from Addis Ababa
University had been in police custody fiom 22 December 2000 to 12 January 2001
The letter asserts that thousands of people of Oromo nationality have been
detained in Ethiopia without charge or trial, following several peaceful
demonstrations against the government’s decision to move the Oromia regional
capital from Addis Ababa(Finfine) to Nazareth (Adama) In this case, the TE’LF
is uprooting the Oromo people from their home city and denying them their right
to collective ownership of the land as well as of the city infrastructures and
heritage sites Indeed, the TPLF intends to prevent access to the advantages
that the city provides the Oromo


Article 19: Rights of Information and

Article 19 of the UN Universal
Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to freedom
of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions
witl~ouitnterference and to seek, receive, and impact information and ideas
through any media and regardless of frontiers” 5″nformation is
knowledge Ikowledge is power In its turn, sharinginformation is empowering For
example, social, economic, and farm planningrequire accurate information about
events and the environment This places a special consideration on the
availability of information through independent presses, radio, and television
media For journalists and independent researchers, systematic collection of
information and reporting on community problems and activities increases the
prospects for empowerment


Article 20: Freedom of Assembly and

Article 20 of the UN UDHR states that
everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association 60
Principally t, his article authorizes people to get orgazed to define the
social, economic, political, environmental, and health problems affectingthem
This right is violated in Ethiopia For example, Huluka (2002) has pointed that
farmers in Western Oromia harvest more corn than the amount locally consumed.
However, the farmers are not allowed to organize and ship their products to
other parts of Oromiawhere there are shortages. They are forced to sell at low
prices to a government-controlled grain board” This policy also
discourages Oromo farmeis from producing more grain to avert this fmine


21: Governmental Representation

Article 21 of the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to take part in the
government of his/her country, directly, or through freely chosen
representatives “63 The article suggests that people should be involved
not only locally, but also nationally, ~articipating in the governmental
decision-making process This type of participation includes socio-economic and
health planning through budgeting by prioritizing where public money should be
spent Representationin the decision making process is a very basic idea in
human rights thinking and it is violated in Ethiopia “/


Article 26: The Right to

Article 26 deals with the right to
education. The article suggests that education shall be directed to the full
development of human personality and the strengthening of respect for human
rights and fundamental freedoms.


Education empowers the learner through
a process of providing information and consciousness-raising about their needs
and the circumstances in which they live Based on the information the learner
gains, he/she develops critical skills to assess his/her socioeconomic and
environmental circumstances Information is a resource and a powerful
problem-solving tool


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