Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ethiopia: Patrick Leahy - Time to Put U.S. Values Over U.S. Aid to a Government That Misuses The Law to Silence Its Critics

SOURCE Office of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy

Following is the reaction of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, on the conviction Wednesday in Ethiopia of journalist Eskinder Nega:

"The Ethiopian Government's use of vague anti-terrorism laws to silence the press has been widely and rightly condemned. The conviction of Eskinder Nega and other journalists, who are accused of nothing more than the peaceful exercise of rights clearly recognized under international law, is the work of a regime that fears the democratic aspirations of its own people. Over the years, United States administrations have provided Prime Minister Meles a veneer of legitimacy due to our shared interest in countering real terrorist threats, but he has exploited the relationship for his own political ends. It is time to put the values and principles that distinguish us from terrorists, above aid to a government that misuses its institutions to silence its critics"