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e-2819 (Foreign affairs)

Initiated by Dereje Berenda from Edmonton, Alberta

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

  • On June 29, 2020, Hachalu Hundessa, the celebrated young Oromo musician and human rights activist, was assassinated, unleashing an avalanche of unprecedented violence;
  • Government forces descended on mourners, killing and arresting protestors who came out to express their rage;
  • They arrested leaders and members of Oromo opposition parties, Oromo traditional elders, youth leaders, scholars, journalists and other civilians;
  • Government shut down the Internet and Oromo independent media such as Oromo Media Network;
  • Since then, state-sponsored atrocities have escalated, hundreds were killed and tens of thousands were imprisoned;
  • Political prisoners contracted COVID-19 and suffered from strange illnesses but were denied treatment and access to lawyers.
  • This adds to the ongoing merciless killing, beating, jailing, and raping of innocent civilians under the indefinite Martial Law; and
  • Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, members of U.S. Congress and parliaments of European nations have expressed deep concerns.
We, the undersigned, Oromo Communities members in Canada, call upon the House of Commons to be our voice by calling upon the Canadian government to encourage Ethiopia to:
1. End the unconstitutional Martial Law and withdraw its military from civilian areas;
2. Recognize that Canada’s foreign aid is linked to the respect of human rights;
3. Free all political prisoners without precondition and start dialogue with all opposition parties, especially the targeted Oromo leaders;
4. Commit to independent investigation of Hundessa’s murder and bring perpetrators to justice.

the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne

The promotion and protection of human rights, democracy and fundamental freedoms is a cornerstone of Canadian foreign policy. Together with other members of the international community, the Government of Canada has repeatedly expressed concerns with respect to instances of intercommunal and political violence in Ethiopia, including the violence and unrest in Ethiopia following the killing of Oromo musician and activist Hachalu Hundessa on June 29, 2020.

Canada is committed to standing up for human rights and striving for a world where the rights and freedoms of all people are respected. Canada will continue to uphold these values in line with its foreign policy priorities, including as part of its ongoing engagement with the Government of Ethiopia. Canada supports recent efforts in Ethiopia to open democratic space and is working with the Government of Ethiopia to strengthen its capacity to uphold fundamental freedoms, implement reforms, and engage in inclusive dialogue. 

Canada will continue to monitor the human rights situation in Ethiopia and engage with a broad range of actors, including government officials, non-governmental organizations, and representatives of civil society, to promote and protect human rights.

Open for signature
September 16, 2020, at 5:23 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
October 16, 2020, at 5:23 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Kerry Diotte (Edmonton Griesbach)
October 28, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00170)
Government response tabled
December 11, 2020
Photo - Kerry Diotte
Edmonton Griesbach
Conservative Caucus
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