donderdag 23 december 2010
HRW lately issued ‘Development without freedom’, report on how the Ethiopian government spends aid money . The 111 pages lead to one conclusion only: $ 3 billion Western aid dollars annually donated are used to suppress the Ethiopian people and to keep the ruling party in power. No freedom of expression, censured press, arbitrarily detentions without charge or trial, suppressive laws that severely limit nongovernmental organisations (NGO’s), flawed elections et cetera.
The donors (i.e. US, UK, the Netherlands, Canada, EU, Worldbank) know how aid is translated in politics, and keep on paying.
Some people manage to escape from the Meles regime, like the members of Youth circus Addis Ababa, aged 14 to 25 year at that time. They came to the Netherlands asking for one thing only: Freedom.
Although they all tell the same stories of abuse and renowned human right organisations write reports that affirm the credibility of their statements, the Dutch Immigration Service was not inclined to believe the youngsters. Now they find themselves in a deadlock, forced on them by one of Ethiopia’s large sponsors, the Dutch government. Waiting for the European Court of Human Rights to decide over their fate. This waiting can take years.
An example of what life was for the youngsters in Ethiopia:
A day before court, one of the boys asks his lawyer if he can speak to the judge in private. There is still something he did not talk about. The advocate gives him little chance. ‘You cannot bring new facts to the court and the judge probably will not give you the opportunity to speak in private. This is a public court.’
He wants to tell what happened to him one day at the office of the circus, not long before they went to the Netherlands. ‘Normally people walk in and out of the room. Not this time. I was completely unprepared. Someone hit me on my head, from behind. I still wear the scars. Then they put a cloth over my mouth. There was something on it that drugged me. I don’t know what happened. When I woke up, I felt this pain in my but. “You will not get pregnant. We used condoms.” They told me.’
While telling this story- it is the first time he confides in somebody - he turns his head away. Then he kneels down on the ground. His head bungles between his knees. He feels ashamed and dirty. He did not even tell his own mother.
So many stories they can tell, but nobody listens. The system is not designed to listen, it is designed to guard procedures, not to protect people.
More on the circus group on nonfiXe, category Afrisinia
1.Ethiopia is the second large sponsored developing country in the world, after Indonesia. The country is ruled by a dictatorial regime and human rights deteriorate while the amount of aid money increases. Aid money, according to Human Right Watch, which is used to strengthen the governments’ grip on the citizens even more. And the donors are aware of this.
Ethiopians who manage to escape their abusive government and ask for asylum abroad, have a hard time to get the refuge they need, if they get it at all. The West turns a blind eye twice; by funding a dictator with billions of dollars and refusing to safe harbour his victims, amongst whom sixteen youngsters craving for freedom. From: The blind eye of the West, part 1, Fundraising Ethiopia, www.nonfixe.nl