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Post-Election Ethiopia: Prospects for Civil Society and International Assistance
Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm
SEIU Building, 1800 Massachusetts Ave NW
Leslie LefkowAfrica Division Senior Researcher on the Horn of Africa, Human Rights WatchYoseph MulugetaFormer Secretary General, Ethiopian Human Rights CouncilHassan Shire SheikhExecutive Director, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project
Lisa DavisDeputy Director of Programs, Freedom House
After a sweeping victory in the May polls, which were characterized by a climate of fear, intimidation and an unlevel playing field, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has consolidated a single-party state. The EPRDF is moving forward with its five-year economic development strategy with the help of more than $3 billion in international aid every year.
Our panelists will discuss the current state of political and civil rights in Ethiopia, the impact on civil society and opposition political parties, and the Ethiopian government's systematic manipulation of donor-funded programs to suppress political dissent. They will also discuss and offer recommendations for the international community’s future engagement in Ethiopia.
Leslie Lefkow is senior researcher and Horn of Africa team leader for Human Rights Watch's Africa Division. She has specialized expertise in investigating abuses in armed conflict, humanitarian crises, Sudan, and the Horn of Africa. She has conducted investigations for Human Rights Watch in Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Before joining Human Rights Watch, she worked for humanitarian organizations in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone. Lefkow is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Bryn Mawr College.
Yoseph Mulugeta is a recipient of HRW’s 2010 Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism, which honors those who put their lives and safety at risk in the name of defending human rights. Yoseph is the former Secretary General of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO), Ethiopia's leading rights monitoring organization despite longstanding government hostility. For almost two decades EHRCO has published investigative reports in English and Amharic on issues including summary executions, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary detention. A lawyer trained in Addis Ababa and South Africa, Mulugeta led EHRCO's investigatory unit for many years before assuming its leadership in July 2007.
Hassan Shire Sheikh
Hassan Shire Sheikh is the Executive Director of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project based in Kampala, Uganda. Originally from Somalia, Mr. Sheikh has over 20 years experience working with human rights groups in the region, and was the founder and co-director of the Dr. Ismail Jumale Human Rights Centre in Somalia. Mr. Sheikh is an expert on the East and Horn of Africa and has testified before Congress on the subject. He is an outspoken advocate for human rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights. He holds a Masters degree in Economics and has authored, published and co-published numerous human rights reports.
RSVP with name and affiliation by Tuesday, October 19 to Kellen McClure at [email protected] or 202-747-7096.