By Tariku Shiferaw
Tigrai Online, November 03, 2013
It seems the extremist institution; which strives tirelessly day and night thinking it can cut-short Ethiopia’s positive image and green hope, does not want to retire from its anti-Ethiopian ideological struggle (job). In fact one might confuse this neo-liberal extremist institution’s obsessive behavior for insanity.
When this institution hears the name, ‘Ethiopia’, it either blabbers something bad about the country by collecting every junk gossips possible sitting from afar or just as the term ‘fake sentimental’ goes, it cries ‘Crocodile tears’ by spewing bogus story like ‘Ethiopians are suffering’.
The stories (they came up with) might be a short or long novel, but what really decides the size of the story is how much paper and ink the institutions’ ‘God son’; signed up to throw sham stories at our country, can get a hold of.
In order to realize its conspiracy on our country, it seems it gives a daily prayer to its financier George Soros that goes like “Dear father, if we are able to be a hindrance on the Ethiopian people and government plan for fast and sustainable development, we will realize your vision of benefitting neo-liberal fanatics alike, by paying you back the fund doubling it.” I say this because its so-called annual “research” or its reports and briefings in which it repeatedly relay every two month or three month, exposes this hidden interest.
So, this neo-liberalism lobbyist operating under its cover job as a human right advocacy, it has been playing this role without a single shred of shame since its ‘Helsinki watch’ days. And recently like always, under the title “World Report 2013 - Human Rights Watch: Ethiopia”, they came up with this bogus story; already planted in the media by its bran-child organizations, as anew. It may as well be a case of ‘New wine in old glasses’; but the bad thing is they couldn’t even come up with “new wine”.
‘Human Rights Watch’ in this so- called “research” have printed its usual damaging story on our country by incredibly adding imaginative materials to it- although it will to be a futile endeavor like always.
In order to achieve its hidden political agenda the institution has followed a way in which it spewed unconfirmed and baseless information it gained without confirming its credibility by going to the actual place or including the Ethiopian government’s side of the story; just a hearsay the institution heard through its ‘remote controls’ sitting afar from the actual place.
Although, it’s plainly obvious that the ‘Human Rights Watch’ objective is to downplay (bad-mouth) Ethiopia’s fast and continuous development out of its ‘Why do countries develop outside of neo-liberalism politico-economic philosophy?” vista, I believe as an Ethiopian citizen, I should give a replay to the extremist institution’s unfounded blabber- for two reasons. One is to look further into its fictional “research” (story) and the other reason is to gaze through this report from the point of view of other standard researched reports.
On the fanatical institutions’ so-called “research”, it claims that Ethiopian authorities continue to severely restrict freedom of expression, association, and assembly; journalists and opposition members have been convicted under the country’s vague Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; security forces responded with excessive force and arbitrary detentions during protests by the Muslim communities staged in Addis Ababa and Oromia; the Ethiopian government continues to forcibly resettle hundreds of thousands of rural villagers, and the closing of human right activist organization have all been written- in this novel.
The propagation doesn’t stop with this. It also claim (in this same “research”) the fact that donor countries are not doing enough to improve the country’s deteriorating human right handling and it vehemently complained about the world Bank and other developmental institutions for launching a new ‘Country Partnership Strategy’ which takes principles like human rights and good governance lightly. Basically, it shades us its crocodile tear. What can we say about this except ‘concerns for Ethiopians is being heard in America’- this is incredible.
Anyway let us see how far off this anti-Ethiopian Institution’s so-called ‘Research’; done with impaired outlook, is from the realities of the country. The reality is freedom of expression, association, and assembly is not prohibited in our country, as this neo-liberal fanatic organization would have you believed. Not only these freedoms exist in our country, but they are exercised to full extent, having constitutional recognition and protection.
The fact of the matter is hadn’t been there freedom of expression in our country; there wouldn’t have been any free press operating freely. There wouldn’t have been the ‘Freedom of the Mass Media and Access to Information’ which promotes free media and strives to enable journalists work even more freely.
Today there are promising numbers of press publishing’s out in the street, considering our country’s short-span spent on democracy’s sun. Since the country’s ‘Freedom of the Mass Media and Access to Information’ proclamation; enacted based on the constitution, stipulates that any journalist shouldn’t be arrested before due process of law. This has helped create local journalists who adhere to the profession’s ethical standards and work with professional competence.
As a result of this, there are no journalists imprisoned for an article he/she written, unless he/she is actively involved in criminal activities. But, as this kind of realities (hard truths) doesn’t sit well with ‘Human Rights Watch’ agenda of damaging our government’s image, it isn’t interested in hearing or speaking about it. Instead it’s involved in propagating unfounded rumors; like this and that person is arrested.
With regards to freedom of assembly and association, these rights are given due recognition and protection by the land’s constitution. They are not absent as the neo-liberal fanatical institution claims them to be. The fact that there are up to 79 registered political parties recognized by National Board of Election, clearly shows the extent of freedom of assembly and association is respected in the country- again a hard fact disregarded by the fanatical institution “research”.
Do these political entities have to instigate color revolution through street riots to pass for a political party in the eyes of ‘Human Rights Watch’? This is incredible. How about the civic and nongovernmental organizations that are operating abiding by the country’s rule?
What this neo-liberal extremist organization wants is to create organizations that can meddle in our country’s internal matter (politics) under the guise of civic and nongovernmental operations. Just like in the days of election ’97, where people like Ato Daniel Bekele were working for ‘Human Rights Watch’ to instigate street riots under the pretense of managing (CRDA).
For his troubles, he’s now assigned as the institution’s African division Executive Director. Here it would behoove of the institution not to even tire itself with thoughts of repeating of what happened in those days, as the right to association in our country is only given to Ethiopians and the new ‘Civic and Nongovernmental Organization Law’ shuts any openings for it to occur. It would be like the saying ‘Hopes springs eternal (in human breast)’.
The other baseless accusation thrown at our country relates to journalists and members of oppositions imprisonment. The fact is Ethiopia like every other nation in the world enacted the ‘anti-terror’ law, to protect its national security, unlike what the institution claim that it’s put out political purposes. I don’t think, even this politically-driven pseudo-human right advocacy institution doesn’t know the fact that any national law can’t be prepared and used to attack any specific target, as it can’t differentiate between professions and people.
So it will be helpful to understand that the ‘anti-terror’ law is not enacted specifically for a certain group of people. If the provision is violated, anyone be it a politician, farmer, priest or solider- will be put under arrest. It should be known that as long as anyone is suspected of terrorist activities, he/she will be put to prison regardless of his/her chosen profession.
In any case, it’s plainly obvious what the interest of Mr. Soros is. That is to meddle in other country’s judicial system by judging the journalist tried and convicted by the anti-terror law, as innocents. I remember the latest report; which contained the names of the journalists tried and convicted for violating the ‘anti-terror’ law, heard from Nairobi through the voice of the institution’s Africa division “researcher” Laetitia Bader.
At the time I wished and prayed the institution will have something productive and fruitful things to do, as I was tired of the institutions repeated campaigns.
However, since the institution is basically idle and has to dig up something to keep afloat, it braced us recently with is its same old pointers under the guise of a new “research/report”. It’s true that some people suspected of terrorist activities have been put to face the law. The fact is though; the law put these people in the prison, not the government.
Eskinder Nega, Rio’ot Alemu, Webshet Taye and Andualem Arage and others are in prison after they were found guilty in a court of law. Here, it’s not clear whether if it’s Sorcery or prophecy which showed ‘Human Rights watch’ that these people are innocent or the court made a mistake.
I think it’s a case of lying ‘all the way down the line’, that made the institution went as far as shading a crocodile tear for the self-proclaimed ‘popular’ Yusuf Getachew; editor-in-chief of ‘YeMuslimoch Guday’ and chief proponent of Wahabism, on this same so-called “research”.
Basically the institution feels sorry of all those who violated the ‘anti- terror’ law, which is not surprising considering its cyclic ideological driven anti-Ethiopian campaigns (I’m sorry I meant “research”).
Here it’s vital to probe into Ato Eskinder Nega’s profile, which has been repeatedly used by ‘Human Rights Watch’ as a cherry on top of its milkshake-like stories. As its known Ato Eskinder Nega had been arrested for two years for conspiring with the members of the former (CUD) leadership to overthrow the constitution and constitutional system with force during election ’97.
After two years of prison, Ato Eskinder and his peers’ wrote an apology letter to the government in which he and the others pleaded not to get involved in any anti-peace (anti-public) activities and, should they do get involve in similar activities, they gave their consent to go back straight to prison.
Our country’s government which strictly adheres to democratic principles and view tolerance as an asset of democracy, accepted the apology letters of Ato Eskinder and others and decided to free them as per the law- thinking in part they will learn from their past mistakes and will start to behave.
Upon being released from prison, Ato Eskinder went straight into activities that provoke havoc (riot) and terror, let alone learn from his mistakes. In fact (many readers of this article) will remember how after he was released out of prison, he was so busy on continuing with his conspiring mission started during election ’97 both covertly and overtly.
Most people know that he’s a close-minded and hateful politician that is irritated by the rapid economic growth of this country and people. At the time, he didn’t want to come out of his closet to the open with his close-minded opposition. Instead he wanted to be known for a sham personality.
The fact that some members of the free press labeled him “journalist, analyst, blogger” can he an evidence to this. All in all, what Ato Eskinder used to hide his sinister plot from the public, is what his stern defender ‘Human Rights Watch’ is using today- ‘operating under a false pretense’.
However, the man’s chosen profession asks everyone to be neutral and objective. Journalism is a profession which works for the peoples’ benefit; it doesn’t strive to drive our country’s people into riot and destruction away from its developmental undertakings, like he’s doing.
Basically the profession ethics strictly opposes the undermining of the truth which is the activity he’s actively involved in. Thus this person should not proclaim himself to be journalist’, while not fulfilling any of the criteria the profession (job) demands- including his peers.
The Ethiopian people including myself all know Ato Eskinder Nega is neither an analyst nor a blogger (newsman). And we don’t have to go too far, to prove this truth. His fiction- like reports and hateful propagations published under his real and sometimes pseudo name are more than enough confirmation of this truth.
And he’s now under arrest, after being found guilty under our country’s court of law. But the truth is, it’s not surprising that ‘Human rights watch’ is moaning and weeping for people like Ato Eskinder Nega, considering its ideological war against Ethiopia. It’s weeping for itself by making look it’s for them.
The other thing the institution propagated was its unfounded accusation on the security forces for allegedly using excessive force and mass detention on Muslim protestors. The institution used this ridiculous and unfounded rumor to sweeten its so-called “research” damaging potential, because it doesn’t even say when and where this so-called event took place. The fact is it can’t say where and when this it took place, simply because it didn’t happen in the first place.
All in all, it can’t be said that the security forces have done anything on anyone except for the fact that they have carried out their responsibility as far as the law allows them to. But, what can we say if this scenario is used by the institution to flip and give it a wrong meaning to serve its own agenda- except for nothing. I don’t think this kind of evidence-laden and straight face lies can amount to anything but expose the institution’s anti- Ethiopian agenda.
Anyone with a shred of conscious won’t assume a developmental and democratic government which is working to make its people enter a middle income living, will work against itself by sending its people into harm’s way- well, except for this fanatic institution with its own political agenda. As we all know, our government which was born out of and raised to prominence within the people has a public (popular) outlook.
This public–oriented government won’t stand against the peoples’ interest. Because this party as a result of its innate nature, its activities up to know has been solely focused on enabling the people benefit step by step from the rapid and sustainable economic growth the country is going through. This fact has been attested none other than major international institutions.
The institution should know that their proceedings of downplaying this admirable nature of the government are not only inappropriate but an embarrassing act. However, the fact that the country’s development partner (DAG/ Development Assistance Group Ethiopia) confirmation of the accusation’s untrue nature and baseless ground given after taking an on-site research in Gambella region can be testament for the nature of the accusation- although it was disappointing for the institution that it didn’t corroborated with its version of the “story”.
Regardless, International Institutions and donor countries did not escape the moaning of this shame-laden institution’s recent report. Although I am not sure how it’s a human right “advocacy” when in fact the institution is asking donor countries to defend its lies-infested report as the truth and stop their assistance, but this neo-liberal extremist group on its recent report has lambasted World Bank and other development organizations for coming-up with a new ‘Country Partnership Strategy’ that takes human right and good governance principles lightly, and also blamed donor countries for not taking any measures to improve on the handlings human rights.
Basically, they asked donor countries why they help Ethiopia. Here it’s important to note on truth (even though it’s sort of a cliché). That is be it the World Bank or other donor institutions lending a hand or the UN showing respect towards Ethiopia; they do this not because they feel sympathy towards us. And I believe even ‘Human Rights Watch” is aware of this fact despite the fact its prejudice is clouding its judgment.
The reasons behind donor institutions decision to help Ethiopia and the UN choice of Ethiopia for tough (risky) peace keeping missions is not to waste their money on dead-end endeavors. Instead they do all this because they are seduced by the all-encompassing development, democracy and good governance works being done in the country.
They have seen a responsible government and people is action; not in words but in action. They saw a country that can be fully self-sufficient with a little bit of support. I believe many Ethiopians will agree with me on this one. Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia and those who don’t stand for lying, all know that we will have a better country tomorrow.
Not only this World Bank, USAID, the UK government, UN … etc all support Ethiopia because they have established that the accusation thrown by so-called human right advocacy organizations like ‘Human Rights Watch’ at Ethiopia is both a farce and bogus. Thus the shameful ‘Human Rights Watch’ “research” cannot be taken as anything other than ‘a repetitive cry’.
The other thing which makes the extremist institution’s “Research” shameful is its research methodology. There’s nothing scientific about it, just a fallacious blabber. When a research is undertaken it should take into account things like the neutrality of its information sources, the methodology’s context, the country’s laws and other related issues.
The institution’s “research” on human right handling (although I don’t know which law gave it the right it to research the issue) is not only devoid of the above criteria’s, but it clearly is manipulated by political proclivities.
Generally, the “research” was done based on unconfirmed sources, bad methodology and by undermining the country’s law. knowing that this issue will inevitable be raised, the institution’s African division Executive Director Ato Daniel Bekele basically told the VoA Amharic program that ‘they did the research based on another study done by other group and they gathered evidence by directly interviewing those who are abroad and talking through the phone to those who are in Ethiopia (their families and legal councilors)’.
In this failed preemptive defensive approach, Ato Daniel Bekele unintentionally told us the fact that the “research” is not done by the institution itself and their sources might be terrorists, enemies of the countries and arrested criminals, for all we know.
I believe this also put light on the real identity of this neo-liberal extremist institution. If the institution takes data sitting afar and said ‘someone told me’ (when his name is not even mentioned) without doing anything to conform its reliability, then I think it’s obvious the institution’s objective is to throw cheap attacks on the Ethiopian government.
This is also because if this extremist institution wanted to do a legitimate “research”, it should have come down to the place in question to confirm if indeed there are human right violations taking place. It’s not acceptable at any rate that this institution issued a report on a “research” done by taking some random people statements as a fact given by a reliable and the concerned body.
As far as I know the phrase “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” is only written on the Holy bible, I don’t think it’s on the procedural provision of the ‘Human Rights Watch handbook’. As we have come to realize from past experiences this institution have a habit of using this phrase to attack fast growing developmental state- always stating ‘although I haven’t seen the issue at hand, I’m still right’.
We know very well that these “research” are of a survival issue for the neo-liberal institution, it’s not about human right violation. We know it; they know it. Personally, I took Ato Daniel Bekele’s slipup as enlightening episode considering Ato Danie’s blunder was a gateway into “Human Rights watch’ inner workings. You dear readers might call it colossal screw up. The fact the Institution is a ‘sales-company’ of neo-liberal politico-economic ideology.
Disregarding the institution parasitic-like attack and meddling on our country’s developmental and democratic progress; if we are to ask if this institution is ‘human right advocator’ or just ‘advocator of ideology’, the answer we will find is the fact that it’s the later judging by the aforementioned exploits of the institution.
It shouldn’t be mad at a country progressing with its own developmental path, at least it should (even if it’s just for show) have shown support when people are struggling to come out on top of poverty, instead of (sticking to its ideology-mongering) belittling their efforts through throwing “researches” done hastily and most of all, done based on unfounded and unconfirmed rumors. It should also know that its exploits up to know makes it ‘Ideology Advocator’ not ‘Human right Advocator’. Because the institution’s activities ‘til now and ‘Human Right advocacy’ are two very opposite and polar things.
The above video (3D model) shows what the Addis Ababa light rail will look like when it is completed.