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Friday, October 20, 2006

Urgent Appeal to All Human Rights Organizations

11 Goodwin Street, London N4 3HQ
United Kingdom

14 October 2006
Dear Friends
I write on behalf of the Trustees of the Oromo Relief Association (UK). We are extremely disturbed by the report reaching us concerning the safety of Oromo refugees in Yemen. We have received a report from our colleagues in Sana’a, stating that the Yemeni authorities have brutally murdered three Oromo refugees and wounded four others on 13 September 2006 in broad daylight.
Thousands of Oromos have been fleeing to neighbouring countries to save their lives from well-founded fear of persecution. Numbers of Oromo refugees have set out to Yemen from the coast of Somalia by small boat, and many of them have drowned; most of them thrown off board by illegal smugglers.
On 13th of September around 500 Oromo refugees managed to reach the border of Yemen, only to be detained by the Yemeni authorities and threatened with deportation to Ethiopia. Whilst on their way to the police station in a truck, one of them asked the driver if he could answer the call of nature. The driver refused to stop, and the man was forced to jump off the truck. The police got off, followed him and shot him three times on the head. He died instantly; his friends pleaded with the police to pick up his body but they refused to do so. The other refugees protested, whereupon the police opened fire on them, killing two and wounding four.
Those who were wounded were taken straight to immigration detention centre without being taken to a hospital for treatment.
Those who were killed were

1.Abdul Jabbar
2. Yasin Mohamed Hassan
3. Mama Hamdi Qumbi
Those who were wounded were
1.. Ismael Ahmed Jibril
2. Jamal Kadir Tufa
3. Ahmed Abdurhman Yusuf
4. Amir Abdal Usme

Furthermore we have reason to believe that there are many Oromo refugees detained in secret locations in Yemen, in appalling condition. These actions of the Yemeni authorities constitute gross violations of the human rights of refugees and the fundamental principles of the United Nations convention.
We would like to bring to the attention of the Government of Republic of Yemen, Human Right’s Organisations, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and to the International community, that the Ethiopian Government is using security as a pretext to harass and intimidate Oromo refugees in their neighbouring host countries, although these refugees are not a threat to any government.
We, would like to appeal to the Parliamentary Human Rights Group and other concerned organisations and governments, to use their influence to bring pressure to bear on the Government of the Republic of Yemen to release and protect all Oromo refugees in their country. We also request that those who killed three innocent Oromo refugees and wounded four others be brought to trial. Refugees must be protected, not killed and harassed in their countries of asylum.
Yours sincerely
Dr.Virginia Luling
Oromo Relief Association(UK),Chairperson
C: C Embassy of Republic of Yemen in UK
UNHCR, Geneva
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Rt.Honourable David Lammy, MP for Tottenham
Rt.Honourable Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch Africa.
Oromia Support Group

Ministry of HUMAN rights
PO.Box 16313
Fax :- (00967) 1 444838
Tel :-(00967) 1 444829
60 street –
E-mail:- mshr@y.net.ye

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