Sending Office: Honorable Keith Ellison
Sent By:

Human Rights and Democracy in Ethiopia

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

3:00PM – 4:30 PM

 121 Cannon House Office Building

Dear Colleagues,

Please join me today at 3pm for a briefing on the state of human rights and democracy in Ethiopia.

In November 2015 mostly peaceful student protests broke out in Ethiopia’s Oromia region against the government’s plan to take territory and expand the nation’s capital. These protests have expanded well beyond the Oromia region and developed into Ethiopia’s
longest and most widespread protest movement since the ruling party took power in 1991.

Although the government halted its expansion plans for the capital, the protests and the Ethiopian government’s brutal crackdown brought to the surface broader discontent over the suppression of critical rights and freedoms. Many of these policies have been
in place since the regime took power in 1991, with suppression of rights extending beyond any single issue or ethnic group. The government’s authoritarian structure, repressive policies, controls on the media, and imposition of martial law has silenced critical
voices in civil society and created an atmosphere where many Ethiopians live in fear. Peaceful opposition is frequently met with arrest and detention, and police brutality is often fatal.

This briefing will examine the current state of human rights and democracy in Ethiopia. Speakers will provide an overview of the human rights situation and challenges, as well as the challenges faced by many of Ethiopia’s ethnic groups. They will also recommend
actions for members of Congress to advance human rights and promote stabilization.


  • Felix Horne, Senior Researcher, Horn of Africa, Human Rights Watch
  • Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director, The Oakland Institute
  • Abdi Mohamoud, President, The Ogaden Voice for Peace
  • Tewodrose Tirfe, Co-Founder, Amhara Association of America
  • Teshite Wako, President, Oromo Community of Minnesota


  • Lauren Ploch Blanchard, African Affairs Specialist, Congressional Research Service

I hope you will join me for this timely briefing. For any questions, please contact Brieana Marticorena (


Keith Ellison

Related Legislative Issues
Selected legislative information: Foreign Affairs
Related Event Information
Event Location: 121 Cannon
Event Start: 1/30/2018 3:00:00 PM
Event End: 1/30/2018 4:30:00 PM
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