Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Call for Action by All Ethiopian Groups around the World

December 3, 2013
For Immediate Release
The Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia (GAFRESA)
The Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia (GAFRESA) has been formed recently in response to the killings, gang rape, torture and other forms of crimes being committed against Ethiopian migrants in Saudi Arabia.
GAFRESA was created at a time when Ethiopians across the globe have been expressing outrage on such criminality and savage thuggery that has affected the lives of tens of thousands of Ethiopians who have faced not only such an appalling and inhuman mistreatment in the hands of Saudi security forces and criminal vigilantes but also herded en masse in harsh concentration camps in the scorching desert where food, water and medical help is deliberately withheld and denied.
Realizing the fact that more organized and concerted efforts are needed to stop the crimes and the ensuing humanitarian crisis, GAFRESA has started taking steps to alleviate the suffering of our compatriots who are facing horrific physical and mental abuse as well as deaths in the hands of Saudi security forces and unruly vigilantes. As a result of the robust response of Ethiopians around the world, the international community has now been well-informed of the situation.  The Saudi authorities, including the King, have also been made aware of not only the direct consequences of committing such egregious crimes against innocent Ethiopians but also the inevitable backlash that will permanently tarnish the image of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In collaboration with activists and concerned Ethiopians, GAFRESA has also taken the Ethiopian government to task for failing to protect the rights, safety and security of our citizens. It bears full responsibility for willfully or negligently failing to take the necessary timely steps needed to protect the victims from such degrading mistreatment, including the death of several Ethiopians.
Within a few days, GAFRESA has managed to bring together a number of Ethiopian activists, journalists, scholars and advocates for the rights of Ethiopians. It has also planned to expand its base and reach out to all Ethiopians that are eager to work earnestly to alleviate the suffering victims in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.
We have also realized that raising awareness of the scale and depth of the crisis is not enough. GEFRESA has, therefore, drawn short, medium, and long-term plans to tackle this daunting and unfolding humanitarian crisis in the absence of a government that hardly cares for the rights, safety and security of Ethiopian citizens.
The founders and members of GAFERSA recently held an emergency meeting to discuss the changing reality on the ground due to the swift deportations being executed by the Saudi authorities in collaboration with the tyrannical TPLF regime as well as creating an accountable and transparent organizational structure.
The alliance has now formed a permanent operation center in Washington DC to coordinate efforts more effectively and efficiently. . Resource mobilization & relief aid, foreign relation & advocacy, Legal defense, Public relations and management & financial service units have been organized.
As of this Press Release has reached on the following decisions:
1. To send a delegation to Saudi Arabia and Yemen as soon as possible; for fact finding and to make arrangements for delivery of immediate relief assistance;
2. To send emergency aid to the victims via credible international organizations;
3. Calls upon Ethiopian Muslims across the globe to hold special prayers on Friday, December 6, 2013;
4. Calls upon Ethiopian Christians across the world to hold prayers and vigils on Sunday, December 8, 2013;
5. Calls upon Ethiopians across the globe to hold a one-day hunger strike or fasting on Tuesday, December 10, 2013( Human Rights Day) The objective of such a measure is to protest the mistreatment, gang rape, killings and abuses that our sisters and brothers are facing in faraway places;
6. Urges religious leaders to lead and unify the people during this difficult and trying time in Ethiopian history where our brothers and sisters dispersed around the world have faced great dangers, heart wrenching abuses, deaths and destruction;
7. The Alliance also calls upon all Ethiopian community and grassroots organizers around the world to work in tandem with GAFRESA to help it fulfill its plans to make its base and leadership as diverse as possible and mobilize  the much needed help to our compatriots;
8. The Alliance urges Ethiopian-Americans residing in the United States to contact the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and make them aware of the Humanitarian Crisis that is befalling Africans in Saudi Arabia;
The Alliance has also launched a website, www.defendethiopians.org , to serve as an information hub and gateway to donate money to fund the effort. We encourage Ethiopians across the globe to make donations through the PayPal account for fast, reliable and secure
service with global accessibility.  In addition, the following bank account has also been set up.
Bank Name: Chase Bank
Branch Name: Frandor Branch-197
Address: 3118 E. Saginaw St.
Lansing, Michigan 48912
Telephone: 517 351 0229
Fax:       517 351 6390
Account Number: 994431476
Swift Code: CHASUS33
Bank Routing Number: 072000326

For those who want to send a check, please make the check payable to:
Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians and mail to:
P.O. Box 11261
Alexandria, VA 22312

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