Fair Trial for Yeshi!

January 14th, 2001

Spokesperson: Gashu Habte, Ph.D.

Jan. 2, 2001

Demonstration at the Embassy of Bahrain We held another demonstration at the embassy of Bahrain today to demand fair trial for Yeshiworq Desta Zewdu, and fair treatment for Ethiopian migrant workers in Bahrain. A representative of the demonstrators also went inside the embassy to present a letter and discuss the case with the embassy officials. Today’s demonstration was held from 12 noon until 1 PM. A large number of Ethiopians participated in the demonstration despite the terrible cold weather.

We have been informed by the embassy officials that Yeshiworq has appealed her conviction and that the execution will not be carried out on January 7, 2001. According to the embassy, the appeal process alone will take time. This means there is a breathing room to provide Yeshiwork with a better legal representation, while continuing to apply political pressure on officials of the government of Bahrain. We urge every one to support the effort being made by the Ethiopian Women Lawyers’ Association on Yeshiworq’s behalf.

We are contacting various international women’s rights and human rights groups to help us with Yeshiworq’s case and also look into the abuse against Ethiopian migrant workers in Bahrain and the other Middle Eastern states. We currently exchanging information with the Human Rights Watch’s Women Rights Division.

At the same time, we are trying to address the root cause of this problem. Yeshiworq and tens of thousands of fellow Ethiopians are fleeing the country because the ruling Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) has devastated our country’s economy through its ethnic apartheid politics. Half of our population is unemployed and millions of them live in extreme poverty. Meanwhile, TPLF officials, cadres and cronies are amassing incredible wealth. That is why we are confronting a high level TPLF trade delegation that is coming to the USA in two weeks to spread its deceitful propaganda. On Sunday, January 14, starting at 4 PM, the Ethiopian embassy in Washington DC will host a reception and dinner for the TPLF trade delegation, U.S.

Government and World Bank officials, and opportunists. Let’s expose, confront, and challenge these blood suckers who are forcing our people, including teenage girls such as Yeshiwork Desta, into a life of exile, prostitution, slavery and destitution.

Join us on Sunday, January 14, 2001
Place: Ethiopian Embassy in Washington DC
Time: 4:00 PM