Ethiomedia -- Thousands of Ethiopians have vented their anger on British Prime Minister Tony Blair for his continued support to state sponsored terrorism and gross human rights violations in Ethiopia.
Blowing whistles, beating drums and chanting rousing slogans, the angry protesters condemned the terrorist crackdown being unleashed by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who was berated as Ethiopia’s Bin Laden. “Mr. Blair, shame on you for supporting a terrorist! Shame on you for supporting a fascist butcher,” the protesters shouted on top of their voice.
London witnessed one of the noisiest rallies ever staged at the heart of the city as the protesters marched from Marble Arch past the world-famous Park Lane, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and converged on Whitehall, the sit of the British government. The demonstrators demanded Mr. Blair to press for the unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience including opposition leaders, journalists, human rights campaigners and over 50,000 fellow citizens who have been illegally detained in harsh concentration camps across Ethiopia.
“George Bush and Tony Blair’s war on terror is meaningless if they continue to be partners with Ethiopia’s Bin Laden, Meles Zenawi, who has been committing terrorism and crimes against humanity with impunity,” said Bruke Ayalew.
“Their interpretation of terrorism seems to be narrow. Terrorism is not just an attack against Westerners, but rather a grossly violent crime committed against humanity. It is outrageous to call Meles a partner on the war on terror while he is terrorizing the people of Ethiopia,” he said.
The demonstrators also called on the Meles regime to desist from committing gross human rights violations. Backed up with ear piercing whistles and thunderous drums, the marchers demanded Meles Zenawi to, “Stop fascistic killings!”
The marchers braved the cold weather and yelled out their loud and clear messages that reverberated across 10 Downing Street. Despites the killings, mass arrests, torture and massive suffering of the Ethiopian people under the tyranny of Meles Zenawi, the government of Tony Blair has not condemned Meles in no uncertain terms.
Meles was chosen by Blair to serve on the defunct Commission for Africa in his personal capacity. A few weeks before the Commission was closed down permanently on August 1st, it presented a comprehensive report on Africa entitled ‘Our Common Interest’ at the Gleneagles G8 summit. The major prescriptions of Blair’s Commission as preconditions for breaking the vicious circles of grinding poverty and backwardness were peace, democracy, good governance and respect for human rights.
Underlining the importance of government accountability to the people, the report declared: “Democracy of some kind is an absolute fundamental. But this is about much more than elections every five years to allow for a change of leaders.
“Many Africans call into question the legitimacy of the constitutions of their states, in which the balance between the executive, parliament and the judiciary shifted to the executive at independence and paved the way for the one party state in the years that followed. Other leaders ignore constitutions and stay in power longer than is constitutionally permitted. Africans need to address these issues, and developed nations should offer technical and financial support,” the Commission’s report stated.
To the dismay of Tony Blair, one of the authors of the recommendations, Meles Zenawi, seriously undermined the credibility of the Commission’s report before its ink dried by unleashing a reign of terror in Ethiopia against unarmed civilians that challenged extrajudicial killings and beatings of fellow citizens.
Representatives of the protesters delivered a letter to 10 Downing Street reiterating their demand to Blair to press for the immediate cessation of extrajudicial killings, gross human rights violations, the release of political prisoners and to halt his support to the Meles regime.
The Metropolitan Police controlled the huge crowd with discipline and professionalism. A considerable number of the marchers came from other European countries including Sweden, Norway, Italy, France, Belgium and Germany.
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