Category: "H.R. 2003"

Ethiopia - Takoma Park expressed support to H.R. 2003

August 1st, 2007

Office of the Mayor
Telephone: (301) 891-7230
Fax: (301) 270-8794
7500 Maple Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912

The Honorable Kathryn H. Porter, Mayor
July 31, 2007
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House of Representatives
H-232, U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

On July 24, 2006, the City Council of Takoma Park, Maryland passed resolution #2006-44,urging support of what was HR 5680 and now is HR 2003, Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007. I am writing to reiterate our support for this legislation. I understand that voting on this bill is imminent and urge you to help move this legislation

The City of Takoma Park has a large Ethiopian population who are concerned about the protection of human rights in Ethiopia. Recently there has been a release of some of the political prisoners held in Ethiopia, which was an important first step. We urge the United States to encourage the release of all political prisoners in Ethiopia and to adopt democratic processes and institutions.

The City Council believes that the protection of human rights around the world is important to all of us. Human rights violations in other countries hurt the residents of those countries; the commitment of the United States to democracy and freedom is compromised if we fail to speak out against these inhumane acts.

Please express strong support of HR 2003.

Kathy Porter
cc: Takoma Park City Council
Attachment (Resolution #2006-44)


Ethiopia - Lantos Addresses Erroneous Reports About Legislation on Ethiopia

July 31st, 2007

Lantos Addresses Erroneous Reports About Legislation on Ethiopia
United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Photo: Tom Lantos (Washington Post)

To correct erroneous reports about the Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Accountability Act (H.R. 2003), Chairman Tom Lantos of the House Foreign Affairs Committee issued this statement today:

"The full committee did not consider the measure at today's markup because I wanted to give Ethiopia's elders, government officials, courts and opposition leaders an opportunity to work out a pardon arrangement for the more than 30 remaining political detainees. Late last week I notified other members of Congress, including the House leadership, of my decision. I continue to be concerned about the detainees, and hope for their release soon.

"This bill will not be considered by the full committee for now, but this does not mean the matter of progress in political and other rights in Ethiopia is closed. The United States relationship with Ethiopia will continue to be conditioned on Ethiopian support for human rights and the rule of law. We will continue to hold the Ethiopian government accountable for the way it treats its citizens."

Lantos is the founding co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. House Committee on Foreign Affairs

CONTACT: Lynne Weil of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,


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Ethiopia - Diaspora keeps pressure on U.S. Congress

July 25th, 2007

Ethiopian diaspora keeps pressure on U.S. Congress

The Hill

By Jim Snyder
July 25, 2007

Despite the Ethiopian government’s decision last week to release 38 leaders of an opposition party from prison, Congress must still pass a bill that ties that country’s human-rights record to U.S. aid, say Ethiopian-Americans who have lobbied for the measure.

The community, which has worked in recent years to add its voice to the list of influential ethnic lobbying groups, backs H.R. 2003, a measure authored by Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.) that directs the State Department to support democracy in Ethiopia and restricts assistance for security efforts until the country releases political prisoners and meets a series of other benchmarks.

The House Foreign Affairs Africa and Global Health subcommittee, which Payne chairs, passed the bill last week. The full committee is expected to mark up the bill on Tuesday.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said the decision to pardon the prisoners was unrelated to efforts in Congress to pressure his government.

“The Ethiopian government isn’t willing and is unable to be run like a banana republic from Capitol Hill,” he said. His government has worked closely with the Bush administration on counter-terrorism efforts in the region.

Human-rights activists and congressional backers of the Payne bill welcomed the news that the government had pardoned 38 of the country’s top political opposition leaders. But Tom Lantos, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, indicated the bill would still move forward.

“At least 36 more activists remain in detention because they either refused to sign a required letter of remorse or because they signed the letter but their cases remain undecided,” Lantos said.


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