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More than Three Months and No Charges in Death of Ethiopian Evangelist

7/12/07 Ethiopia (ICC) – ICC originally reported that Ethiopian Evangelist Taddesse was killed by Muslim militants on March 26, 2007 (see the previous report here). We are alarmed to report that it has been more than three months since the killing occurred, but no one has yet been charged or imprisoned for the killing of evangelist Taddesse. The only action that has been taken is that Ethiopian authorities detained the guard of the mosque in which the murder occurred, but later freed him.

Despite efforts by Church leaders to call for the prosecution of those involved in the killing, the Muslim-dominated justice system in Jimma has refused to respond.

By failing to prosecute the killers of Evangelist Taddesse, Ethiopian authorities are violating their obligation to protect human rights and their commitment to do so in agreeing to international human rights instruments like the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. They are also failing to abide by their own constitution which requires them to protect the human rights of their citizens.

This impunity is a major cause of concern for us because it emboldens Islamic militants who could strike again. The attack against Evangelist Taddesse is not a single incident but it is a part of growing pattern of attacks against Christians and Churches in Ethiopia since the May 2005 election in which Ethiopian government was challenged by strong opposition politicians.

Please contact the Ethiopian Minister of Justice. Tell him that you have heard about the case of Evangelist Taddesse, and are very concerned that no one has been charged. Ask him politely to take immediate action so that such incidents do not happen again. He and his staff should be able to understand English and can be contacted through the following address:

Mr. Assefa Kesito, Minister of Justice

Phone Number: (011) 251-11-551-50 99

Fax: +251-11-5517775 / 5520874

Email: ministry-justice@ telecom.net.et

Addis Ababa , Ethiopia

You can also contact Ethiopian embassies through the following addresses:

Embassy of Ethiopia , USA

3506 International Dr. NW

Washington , DC 20008

Tel (202) 364-1200

[email protected]

Embassy of Ethiopia , UK

17 Princes Gate

London SW7 1PZ

Tel: +44 (0)20 7589 7212

Fax: +44 (0)20 7584 7054

[email protected]

Embassy of Ethiopia in Canada

#210-151 Slater Street

Ontario K1P 5H3

Tel: 613-235-6637

Fax: 613-235-4638

[email protected]