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ICC, Ethiopian Community To Hold Demonstration Demanding Saudis Release Ethiopian Christian Prisoners
Washington, D.C. (February 16, 2012) – International Christian Concern (ICC) and the Ethiopian community in Washington DC will be holding a public protest demanding Saudi Arabia release 35 Ethiopian Christians arrested for praying at a private home on December 15. The protest will be held on February 21, at 10 am in front of the Saudi Arabian Embassy located at 601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20037.
Saudi Arabian government officials have severely mistreated the prisoners because of their Christian faith. The Saudi Arabian officials assaulted the men and strip searched the female prisoners when they were imprisoned. In early February, the Saudis also began pressuring the Christians to convert to Islam.
Speaking to ICC from Briman jail in Jeddah, one of the female prisoners said, “Why don’t they release us? We want to go back to our country and worship freely.” In a message to Christians around the world, another prisoner said, “We want you to help us to get out of prison in every way you can. Please tell your governments about our plight, contact human rights organizations and others and inform them about us.”
Kebadu Belachew, an Ethiopian-American human rights activist and one of the organizers of the rally said, “These are law-abiding Ethiopian citizens. They were simply arrested for practicing their faith at a private home. The Saudi government should set them free. We are organizing this protest as part of the effort to set them free.”
ICC’s Jonathan Racho said, “We urge all those concerned in the Washington D.C. area to participate in this protest. Saudi Arabian officials have refused to release the Christians despite quiet diplomatic pressure. We must raise our voices and demand the Saudis release the prisoners who were imprisoned simply for praying together.”
Please sign this petition asking the Saudi Arabian government to release the Christian prisoners.
Call the Saudi Arabian Embassy in your country and ask them to release the prisoners.
United States: (+1) 202 342 3800
Canada: (+1) 613 237 4100
United Kingdom: (+44) 207 9173-000
Australia: (+61) 2 6250 7000
Germany: (+49) 30 88 92 50
France: (+33) 1 56 79 4000