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.