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Stand for Silenced Ethiopians: Open Letter to Richard K. Armey

Friday, October 13, 2006

Open Letter to Richard K. Armey

Ethiopian American Civic Advocacy (EACA) October 12, 2006

Richard K. Armey 1200 Nineteenth Street,
NW Washington, DC,
20036-2412 dick.armey@dlapiper.com

Re: Lobbying for the Ethiopian government Dear Richard K. Armey:

Please refer to our letter about “Lobbying for the Ethiopian government” sent to you on September 28, 2006. We are hereby providing a follow-up to our letter. We are very grateful to learn that you have read our letter and are taking the matter serious. We are also grateful to your staff for taking time to discuss the current situation in Ethiopia and your willingness to hear our side of the story. We believe that this is the right step in the right direction to ending the atrocities that have been committed by the ruling regime on the people of Ethiopia during the last fifteen years. We are deeply concerned about your firm continuing to represent the tarnished image of the Ethiopian Government led by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
The ruling regime in Ethiopia is responsible for: ethnic conflicts that claimed countless lives; brutal suppression of peaceful protests on numerous occasions by mass killings; disappearances and detentions; political persecutions of opposition leaders/members, civic leaders, free press journalists, civil rights lawyers, and civic activists.
We share the passion of great American leaders such as Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-VA) who recently stated that “lobbying for brutal and dictatorial government would be like fronting for Joseph Stalin during the worst of his murderous reign”. A lobbying firm’s role will be no less crucial than the role of the arm dealers if it helps regimes such as Ethiopia’s to continue to brutalize and suppress its very own people.
The Ethiopian Government is depending on your firm to provide false and misleading information with serious errors of facts to smooth over its horrendous human rights record. Harassment, arbitrary arrest, imprisonment, a political controlled judiciary and lack of due process is part of the government daily activities. The government increased restrictions on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and press; closure of private media, news papers, and jamming radio are part of its daily manifesto.
Once again, we humbly request your firm to immediately cease its association with the Ethiopian Government that has blood on its hands and is responsible for the plight of millions of its citizens and instability in the Horn region. It is our strong hope that your firm will choose to stand for what is right and we anticipate your positive response.
We are very confident that after carefully weighing the documentations mailed to your office, your firm will cease from associating with the brutal regime of Ethiopia. Awaiting your positive response,
Sincerely,
Kassa Ayalew M.D., M.P.H.,
(Chair) Ethiopian American Civic Advocacy (EACA)
Phone: +1 (703) 665-4042 PO.Box 1292 Lorton,
Virginia 22199-1292eacadvocacy@gmail.com

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