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Press Statement

In the name of Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate [Stockholm April 29, 2012]

On April 27, 2012 the security forces of the government of Ethiopian opened fire on peaceful worshipers in Asasa town, Arsi Zone, Oromia region, killing and wounding several peaceful worshipers. Latest figure indicates that the number of people died has reached eleven. Among those killed is a six years old boy.

Over fifty people were wounded, some still in serious conditions. Over 200 people are reported to have been arrested. The Network of Ethiopian Muslims in Europe condemns this atrocity against peaceful citizens. We recognize the measure taken on April 27, 2012 against peaceful citizens of Asasa town as one of the several massacres committed by the regime and a crime against humanity. Those killed are martyrs (መስዋዕታ/Shahids) who gave their life for the sake of justice, freedom and liberty of Ethiopian Muslims and all Ethiopians. The Network rejects with strongest terms the characterization by the government of Ethiopian of the incident in Asasa as “act of terrorism” and the people killed/wounded/arrested as “terrorists”. It is shameful that the government of Ethiopia choose to respond to the peaceful and constitutional demand of Ethiopian Muslims with gun.

For more than four months Ethiopian Muslims are demanding for an end to government intervention in their religious affairs and to stop its attempt to indoctrinate Ethiopian Muslims with an align Ahbash doctrine. Beyond the Awolia gathering, which has been attracting hundreds of thousands of Muslims, the Ethiopian Muslims at large is expressing its rejection of the Ahbashinization project of the Ethiopian government. Awolia-like gatherings are now a weekly phenomena at most Mosques around the country. The gatherings demonstrated one of the highest standard of morality, integration and peace despite several attempts by the government security to disturb it. The demands are not other than the respect for the basic and fundamental rights of citizens as are guaranteed by the constitution of the country. At this time of great tribulation and difficulty in our country, we call up on the Muslim community, both at home and in the diaspora, to unite more than ever and stand firm on the noble causes our brothers gave their life for.

We call upon all Ethiopians, regardless of their belief, to condemn this atrocity and join the movement for justice, rule of law and democracy in Ethiopia. We fear that the measure taken in Asasa is an indication of what we may expect from the government in the days ahead. We call up human right organizations and the international community at large to condemn the measure taken, follow up developments and investigate the already committed crime against peaceful worshipers of Asasa.

We pray that Allah (swt) grant our dead Jennah ul-Firdous and make their blood the foundation of victory to Ethiopia and Ethiopians. May He, the Almighty - give their families patience. Amin.

Network of Ethiopian Muslims in Europe (NEME)Stockholm, Sweden April 29, 2012

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