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  • Ethiopian Federal Police Raids Kemise Town, Conducting House-to-House Search


    Sunday, November 11, 2012 (1:08AM LOCAL TIME

    Ethiopian Federal Police Raids Kemise Town, Conducting House-to-House Search 

    Ethiopian Federal Police and armed government security forces have reportedly been mobilized to towns in South Wollo and Oromia Zones of the Amhara State late on Saturday. The town of Kemisse in Oromia Zone of the State is currently surrounded by Federal Police Forces.

    Reports from the town indicate that the federal police are carrying out house-to-house searches at the residences of several Muslims. 

    Kemise is one of the towns where weekly peaceful protests against government interference on Muslim religious affairs is being conducted every Friday. 

    It is to be recalled that a similar raid carried out by Federal Police Forces in Gerba town, South Wollo Zone of the Amhara State, on October 21st sparked clashes between the town’s Muslims and the police and led to the death of at least five civilians.
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  • the most respected newspaper The New York Times has reported the abuses Ethiopian government on muslims

    Ethiopia Abusing Religious Freedom of Muslims: U.S. Body

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    Ethiopia, which has long been seen by the West as a bulwark against Muslim rebels in neighboring Somalia, says it fears militant Islam is taking root in the country.

    However, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) accused the government of arresting peaceful Muslim protesters, noting that 29 of them had been charged last month with what the authorities said was "planning to commit terrorist acts".

    Ethiopian Muslims, who make up about a third of the population in the majority Christian country, accuse the government of interfering in the highest Muslim affairs body, the Ethiopia Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (EIASC). Thousands of Muslims have staged weekly mosque sit-ins and street protests in Addis Ababa over the past year.

    "The arrests, terrorism charges and takeover of EIASC signify a troubling escalation in the government's attempts to control Ethiopia's Muslim community and provide further evidence of a decline in religious freedom in Ethiopia," the Commission said in a statement issued on Thursday.

    Ethiopian officials were unavailable for comment on the statement from the Commission, whose members are appointed by President Barack Obama and senior Congressional Democrats and Republicans.

    Commission Chairwoman Katrina Lantos Swett called on the U.S. government to raise the issue with Addis Ababa.

    "USCIRF has found that repressing religious communities in the name of countering extremism leads to more extremism, greater instability, and possibly violence," she said.

    "Given Ethiopia's strategic importance in the Horn of Africa ... it is vital that the Ethiopian government end its religious freedom abuses and allow Muslims to practice peacefully their faith as they see fit," she added. "Otherwise the government's current policies and practices will lead to greater destabilization of an already volatile region."

    Over the past six years Ethiopia has twice sent troops into Somalia to battle Islamist rebels, including al Shaabab militants, and officials say some of the protesters are bankrolled by Islamist groups in the Middle East.

    The Commission backed the protesters' complaints that the government had been trying since last year to impose the apolitical Al Ahbash sect on Ethiopian Muslims. The government has denied this but dozens of Muslims have been arrested since the demonstrations started in 2011.

    Ethiopia is 63 percent Christian and 34 percent Muslim, according to official figures, with the vast majority of Muslims adhering to the moderate, Sufi version of Islam.

    (Editing by Drazen Jorgic and David Stamp)

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  • Al Jazeera Report Four people were killed eastern Ethiopia

    Four people were killed eastern Ethiopia in an attack by Muslim protesters jailed in the aftermath of protests against what it calls Muslims to government intervention in their affairs, while the government accuses of plotting to publish what it calls extremism. 

    This came after the elections postponed in the town of Djerba, the Amhara region and arrested protesters accused of trying to disrupt the elections. 

    The government spokesman said Himls Kamal The detainee supporters who were armed small Pfús and pistols tried to release him by force, which blew clashes led to the deaths of three of them and a police officer in addition to injuring others. 
    ... 
    Four people were also killed in a similar incident in the area of ​​Orumiyeh in May / May. 

    Protesters say the government controls the highest Islamic body in Ethiopia, the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and prevent long-delayed elections may bring alternative views to the Council. 

    However, the government denies interfering and accuses the protesters of plotting to spread "extremism" in the country, which Christians make up 63% of the population compared to 34% of Muslims, according to official figures. 

    Noteworthy that thousands of Muslims hold sporadic protests from time to time in the streets of the Ethiopian capital since late last year against what they describe as "encourage the government to branch alien to Islam, which range Ahbash," a political group postings and have a lot of supporters in the United States Read more »
  • ye ethiopia mengest ye voa gazetegna lemen yemuslim guday zegbsh bemalet maseru teneger

    Ethiopian authorities detain journalist covering Muslim community

    Source: Committee to Protect Journalists 


    (CPJ/IFEX) - 5 October 2012 - Ethiopian authorities should halt their harassment of journalists covering the country's Muslim community and their intimidation of citizens who have tried to speak to reporters about sensitive religious, ethnic, and political issues, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

    Police in the capital, Addis Ababa, briefly detained Marthe Van Der Wolf, a reporter with the U.S. government-funded broadcaster Voice of America as she was covering a protest by members of Ethiopia's Muslim community at the Anwar Mosque, local journalists said. The protesters were demonstrating against alleged government interference in Islamic Council elections scheduled for Sunday, according to VOA and local journalists. 

    Wolf was taken to a police station and told to erase her recorded interviews, and then released without charge, local journalists said. 

    This week, security officers have also harassed Ethiopian citizens who were interviewed by VOA's Amharic-language service, according to the station. Police arrested two individuals who spoke to VOA on Thursday about a land dispute outside the capital, VOA reported. On Monday, police harassed individuals who spoke to the station about a dispute over resources between ethnic communities, the outlet said. 

    "We urge the government's leadership to set a new tone of tolerance and halt the bullying tactics of the past," said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. "Citizens should be allowed to voice their opinions to journalists without fearing arrest or intimidation, and reporters should be allowed to cover even those events the government dislikes." 

    For much of the year, Ethiopian authorities have cracked down on journalists and news outlets reporting on the unprecedented protests by members of the Muslim community, according to CPJ research. In May, police detained former VOA correspondent Peter Heinlein overnight on accusations of "illegal reporting" for covering a similar protest, VOA reported. 

    VOA released a statement today that condemned the harassment and obstruction and said the incident was "designed to prevent journalists from doing their job." 

    Three Muslim-oriented papers have not been published in the country since July after police raided the outlets and searched the homes of their editors. Yusuf Getachew, editor of Ye Muslimoch Guday, has been imprisoned on charges of treason and incitement to violence for reporting on the grievances of the Muslim community, and at least two journalists, Senior Editor Akemel Negash and copy editor Isaac Eshetu, have fled into hiding, according to CPJ research. 

    With six journalists in jail, Ethiopia is the second leading jailer of journalists in Africa, second only to its neighbor, Eritrea, according to CPJ research.  Read more »
  • Hamburg becomes First German City to Officially Recognize a Muslim Holiday

    Authorities in Hamburg have become the first in Germany to officially recognize Islamic holidays so Muslim employees and students can celebrate them at home. 

    The decision forms part of an agreement between the north German city and local Muslim groups. 

    Similar agreements exist with Christian and Jewish communities in the city. 

    Hamburg's mayor, Olaf Scholz, said Tuesday that he hopes the deal will serve as an example for other German cities. 

    Authorities estimate some 150,000 Muslims live the city of almost 2 million people. 

    Sources: 

    "Hamburg To Recognize Islamic Holidays For Muslim Celebrations" Huffington Post August 14, 2012 

    "German city to recognize Islamic holidays" News 10 August 14, 2012 

    "Hamburg becomes 1st German city to recognize Islamic holidays" Washington Post August 14, 2012
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  • be New york ke 6 amet belay yetederegewu selela muslimu selamawi mehonun aregagete

    Nypd Muslim Spying Surveillance

    NEW YORK — In more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloguing mosques, the New York Police Department's secret Demographics Unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, the department acknowledged in court testimony unsealed late Monday.

    The Demographics Unit is at the heart of a police spying program, built with help from the CIA, which assembled databases on where Muslims lived, shopped, worked and prayed. Police infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques, monitored sermons and catalogued every Muslim in New York who adopted new, Americanized surnames.

    Police hoped the Demographics Unit would serve as an early warning system for terrorism. And if police ever got a tip about, say, an Afghan terrorist in the city, they'd know where he was likely to rent a room, buy groceries and watch sports.

    But in a June 28 deposition as part of a longstanding federal civil rights case, Assistant Chief Thomas Galati said none of the conversations the officers overheard ever led to a case.

    "Related to Demographics," Galati testified that information that has come in "has not commenced an investigation."

    The NYPD is the largest police department in the nation and Mayor Michael Bloomberg has held up its counterterrorism tactics as a model for the rest of the country. After The Associated Press began reporting on those tactics last year, supporters argued that the Demographics Unit was central to keeping the city safe. Galati testified that it was an important tool, but conceded it had not generated any leads.

    "I never made a lead from rhetoric that came from a Demographics report, and I'm here since 2006," he said. "I don't recall other ones prior to my arrival. Again, that's always a possibility. I am not aware of any."

    Galati, the commanding officer of the NYPD Intelligence Division, offered the first official look at the Demographics Unit, which the NYPD denied ever existed when it was revealed by the AP last year. He described how police gather information on people even when there is no evidence of wrongdoing, simply because of their ethnicity and native language.

    As a rule, Galati said, a business can be labeled a "location of concern" whenever police can expect to find groups of Middle Easterners there.

    Galati testified as part of a lawsuit that began in 1971 over NYPD spying on students, civil rights groups and suspected Communist sympathizers during the 1950s and 1960s. The lawsuit, known as the Handschu case, resulted in federal guidelines that prohibit the NYPD from collecting information about political speech unless it is related to potential terrorism.

    Civil rights lawyers believe the Demographics Unit violated those rules. Documents obtained by the AP show the unit conducted operations outside its jurisdiction, including in New Jersey. The FBI there said those operations damaged its partnerships with Muslims and jeopardized national security.

    In one instance discussed in the testimony, plainclothes NYPD officers known as "rakers" overheard two Pakistani men complaining about airport security policies that they believed unfairly singled out Muslims. They bemoaned what they saw as the nation's anti-Muslim sentiment since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

    Galati said police were allowed to collect that information because the men spoke Urdu, a fact that could help police find potential terrorists in the future.

    "I'm seeing Urdu. I'm seeing them identify the individuals involved in that are Pakistani," Galati explained. "I'm using that information for me to determine that this would be a kind of place that a terrorist would be comfortable in."

    He added, "Most Urdu speakers from that region would be of concern, so that's why it's important to me."

    About 15 million Pakistanis and 60 million Indians speak Urdu. Along with English, it is one of the national languages of Pakistan.

    In another example, Galati said, eavesdropping on a conversation in a Lebanese cafe could be useful, even if the topic is innocuous. Analysts might be able to determine that the customers were from South Lebanon, he said, adding, "That may be an indicator of possibility that that is a sympathizer to Hezbollah because Southern Lebanon is dominated by Hezbollah."

    After the AP began reporting on the Demographics Unit, the department's former senior analyst, Mitchell Silber, said the unit provided the tip that ultimately led to a case against a bookstore clerk who was convicted of plotting to bomb the Herald Square subway station in Manhattan. Galati testified that he could find no evidence of that.

    Attorney Jethro Eisenstein, who filed the Handschu case more than 40 years ago and questioned Galati during the deposition, said he will go back to court soon to ask that the Demographics Unit be shut down. It operates today under a new name, the Zone Assessment Unit. It recently stopped operating out of state, Galati said.

    "This is a terribly pernicious set of policies," Eisenstein said. "No other group since the Japanese Americans in World War II has been subjected to this kind of widespread public policy."

    Dozens of members of Congress have asked the Justice Department to investigate the NYPD. Attorney General Eric Holder has said he was disturbed by the reports. But John Brennan, President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, has said he is confident the NYPD's activities are lawful and have kept the city safe.

    ___

    Contact the AP's Washington investigative team at DCinvestigations (at) ap.org

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  • Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed & Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid condolences to Ethiopian president

    Abu Dhabi: President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a a cable of condolence to Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giorgis on the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

    His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also expressed in a cable to President Wolde-Giorgis, hiseartfelt condolences over the death of Zenawi.

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  • CNN REPORT ETHIOPIAN MUSLIM PROTEST AFTER EID PRAYER 2012

    ETHIOPIAN MUSLIM CONTINUE PROTESTING THE GET ANSWERS FOR THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF RELIGIONS.ETHIOPIAN GOV CONSTITUTION DO NOT ENTERFERE IN RELIGION ,DO NOT SUPPORT OR RULED BYANY RELIGION.SO THEIR QUESTION IS TO GETTHEIR ANSWER THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF RELIGIONS .THIS HAD BEEN HAPPEN * MONTH AGO ,STILL GOING ON UNTIL THEY GET THEIR ANSWER BACK.THEIR QUESTION IS NOT POLITIC OR BEEN AN OPPOSITION PARTY.tHEY DONT ASKING TOBE A MEMBER IN THE GOVERNING OR PARLIAMENT.THEIR QUESTION IS NOT RULING ETHIOPIA BY ISLAMIC RELIGION.THEIR QUESTION IS THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF RELIGION THAT IS THE ETHIOPIAN REAL CONSTITUTIONAL.FOR MORE INFO we will share moreas it happen and get other source links AUGUST 18/2012 AFTER EID PRAYERS PROTEST Read more »
  • Human Rights Group Urges Ethiopia to Release Jailed Muslim Protesters

    A U.S.-based rights group is urging the government of Ethiopia to immediately release 17 Muslim leaders jailed as part of a "brutal crackdown".Human Rights Watch says the men were among hundreds who were harassed, assaulted and detained during protests at mosques in the capital, Addis Ababa, last month.HRW says the crackdown followed months of peaceful demonstrations against government interference in religious affairs, including attempts to control Islamic teachings.
    It says although most of those protesters have been released, the 17 Muslim leaders have been held for three weeks without charge or access to lawyers.Ethiopian police have previously blamed the mosque's committee for instigating the unrest and have warned foreign elements against influence that may be fueling the protests.Human Rights Watch is calling on the Ethiopian government to address the grievances of the Muslim community through dialogue and not violence.Muslims are Ethiopia's second-largest religious group, making up one-third of the country's 94 million people.The Ethiopian government has expressed concern about the influence of Salafist, or Wahabist Muslims, who practice a more conservative form of Islam.To combat this, the government has actively promoted the al-Ahbash sect of Islam, which is based on the teachings of an Ethiopian scholar who had been living in exile in Lebanon. Read more »
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