Immigrants of Ethiopian origin across many cities in Europe,North America, Africa and the Middles East protested to oppose the ongoing “modern day slavery” in Libya. Washington, Frankfurt,London, Pretoria and Tel-Aviv are some of the cities where there was protest. They opposed egregious and inhuman abuses of migrants from Ethiopia and other African countries.
The protest in Washington was coordinated by Tamagne Beyene, who runs talk show on Ethiopian Satellite Television (He is also director of Global Alliance For Ethiopia) and other Ethiopian civic organizations in the city.
The protesters marched to Libyan embassy in Washington but Ms. Wafa Bughaighis, the Ambassador, was unwilling to accept a letter prepared by the protesters which demands an end to enslavement of Ethiopians and migrants from other parts of Africa as well.
Her refusal led protesters to defy Washington police which requested the protesters to leave the area. In the ensuing minutes Tamagne Beyene and a women from another African country, who was part of the protest, was arrested by police. They were both released after hours in police custody.
For supporters of the regime in power in Ethiopia, Tamagne is a foe and there was excitement as the news of his arrest quickly spread on social media. And he had a word for them when he was interviewed by his colleague soon after he was released :
- “I was not arrested because of drunk driving as an Ethiopian diplomat in Turkey…or while drug dealing in London under the guise of diplomacy, I was arrested because I added spoke out for the voiceless fellow Ethiopians…”
He was insinuating the crimes of members of TPLF who work as Ethiopian diplomats in Europe and the US.
The women who was also arrested with him is released.
During weekly brief for journalists in Addis Ababa last week, spokesperson for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Meles alem, told journalists that Ethiopian government is working to secure the return of Ethiopians from Libya through its office in Cairo but failed to give detailed information “for the safety of Ethiopians who are held in Libya”
Cover photo : Screenshot from Ethiopian Satellite Television Video
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