Daniel Bekele, policy researcher and advocacy manager for Actionaid Ethiopia, and international BGO dedicated to the fight against poverty, in the city of Addis Ababa.
On October 16th, 2005, Mr. Bekele was attacked at gun point while entering his car by two unknown armed men. One man questioned Mr. Bekele, demanding “who are you to criticize the EPRDF [Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front-ruling party]?”, before hitting him on the eyes and the head, helped by the other man, with the handle of their pistols.
After a moment, Mr. Bekele succeeded in blowing the horn of his car, and the assaulters ran away, while some people came to help him. Mr. Bekele lodged a complaint to the nearest police station, and Actionaid Ethiopia lodged a complaint to the Federal Police Commission. To this date, no investigation has been launched yet.
It is believed by the Observatory that Mr. Bekele’s attack is linked with his activities as member of Executive Committee of the Network of Ethiopian NGOs and other civil society organisations, which monitored May 15, 2005 elections. During these elections, Mr. Bekele had publicly expressed his opinion on irregularities during the electoral process.
The Observatory notes that the attack incurred by Mr. Bekele due to his public expression of opinion during the elections, counters Article 6(c) & Article 12.2 of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on Dec. 9th, 1998.
Letter by Charles B. Davison sent on Oct 26, 2005