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Free Sidama Prisoners

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This is the petition to free Sidama political prisoners.

In recent months, the government of Ethiopia has been imprisoning innocent Sidamas whose only demand is their peoples' right to region status. Whereas Ethiopia is currently constituted as an ethnic federal state consisting of 9 regional states, Sidamas were amalgamated into Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region without their will.

Sidama has a population of over 6 million (official stats: 3.4 mn). Sidamas have long history of resistance to forces that trample on their social, economic and political rights. In the same tradition, they clearly demonstrated they want their regional status which protects their identity within the Ethiopian polity.

But the current government of EPRDF has imprisoned Sidama farmers, business people, intellectuals, students for no reason other than voicing their dissent. The situation aggravated since June 2012 and got much worse when Sidamas celebrated their annual festival, Cambalalla in Hawassa on 15 August 2012.

The names of people in Hawassa prisons are given below. Most are hold in inhuman and unhealthy conditions where visits from family and friends are denied. Besides, in highly unusual manner, respected Sidama elders are also arrested for peaceful expression of their legitimate and constitutional demand for regional self-administration. We urge their immediate and unconditional release.

You can help the helpless and voiceless people by signing this petition, writing letters to all concerned bodies. Please inform Ethiopian authorities that mass arrest is not an answer to peaceful, constitutional demand for regional self-administration.


Sidamas and friends of Sidama


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