Fekadu Negeri and others, EHRCO Executive Committee Members

Re: Fekadu Negeri and others, EHRCO Executive Committee Members

To: Minister of Justice, Ethiopia

From: Cara E.I. Gibbons, LRWC member

Date: 2007-09-10

LRWC applauds the unconditional release of release of Fekadu Negeri, Ibsa Wake, Tefsa Burayu Abraham Likasa, , Jeregna Keba, Osman Dawer, Tamrat Tadesse and Workneh Dinsa, particularly in light of allegations that three of the men may have been prisoners of conscience detained solely for their peaceful work in defence of human rights on the Ethiopian Human Rights Council Executive Committee in Nekemte town.

May we remind you that Ethiopia is obligated to respect the prohibition against arbitrary arrest and detention contained in, inter alia, article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the Ethiopian constitution. Ethiopia has accepted these international obligations without reservation. We further refer to Article 9 of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, particularly section 1 which states that the constitution “is the supreme law of the land” and section 4 which states that “all international agreements ratified by Ethiopia are an integral part of the law of the land,” which in effect imports Ethiopia’s international obligations into its domestic law.

LRWC respectfully urges the Ethiopian government to consistently act in accordance with its human rights obligations and to ensure the implementation of the Declaration of Human Rights Defenders adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 8, 1998, in particular article 1 which provides that “every person has the right, individually or collectively, to promote the protection and fulfilment of human rights and fundamental liberties at the national and international levels.”

While the release of the detained are applauded, LRWC calls for an immediate cessation of any and all practices of arbitrary arrest and detention in the future. Thank you for your attention to our concerns.