Ethiopians demonstrated on Monday in front of U.S. embassies
in several capital cities around the world today demanding the release of
Birtukan Mideksa, the leader of unity for Democracy and Justice Party, and others.
VOA reporters spoke to organizers in Washington D.C, London,
Berne, Munich, Stockholm and Melbourne.
Demonstrators from as far away as Boston stood in freezing
cold and four inches of show at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C.
where they submitted a letter to the State Department's Bureau of Democracy and
Human Rights protesting the Ethiopian
government’s practices. The
demonstrations were organized by members of Worldwide Campaign for Prisoners of
Conscience in Ethiopia.
During a demonstration in Rome, Genene Shiferaw told VOA’s
Solomon Kifle that the letters demanded the release of Birtukan “and all the
unknown names and numbers of political prisoners including the popular artist
Teddy Afro. ” Afro is popular singer serving two years in prison on charges of
hit and run driving.
“The purpose of the demonstration is to remind the Obama
administration the president’s inauguration promise that America will not
befriend dictators who subjugate their citizens,” said Meseret Haile Selassie,
an organizer of the demonstration at the embassy in Bern, Switzerland.