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Police halt EZEMA’s presser

A planned press conference organized by the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (EZEMA) aimed at presenting its findings regarding land grabbing and unlawful transfer of condominium houses in Addis Ababa city administration to the public, was halted by Kirkos Sub-City Police Department, The Reporter has learnt.

Natnael Feleke, head of public relations of the party, said the party has received numerous pleas from the public about land grabbing and unlawful transfer of condominium houses. Then after, the party established a committee composed of members from the executive committee and studied the pleas.

Hence, the press conference, which was initially planned to be conducted at Ras Hotel on Friday, August 28, 2020, was to reveal its findings to the public before police officers from the Kirkos police department halted it, said Natnael.  

Moreover, he said that, even though the party has reserved a place at the hotel and paid all the necessary payments, the police, on the grounds of not attaining permission, have cancelled its presser.

Given the fact that the party has passed thorough similar procedures to organize its press conferences; the interruption made on Friday has nothing to deal with having permission, but rather directly related to curtailing the contents of the press conference, Natnael highlighted.

“Our aim and strategy as a political party is aimed at building a democratic system step-by-step, and we believe that our political, social and economic problems would be addressed through such kinds of calm political processes. However, measures taken by the police to stop our press conference is damaging the process of building a democratic political system,” said Natnael and called upon the government to respond to the public’s questions.

Finally, Natnael said if the government commits a mistake it should know its mistake, the public has also the right to know those mistakes. And timely measures to rectify such wrongdoings should be taken. Any activity that is aimed at quashing freedom of thought and obstructing the rights of the public, to get information, makes the process of building democratic system bumpy. This means that political, social and economic problems that exist in the country cannot be addressed.

E-ZEMA is an outcome of a coalition between seven political parties, both from abroad and Ethiopia, to create a formidable political alternative in the tittering Ethiopian political environment. The seven opposition political parties dissolved to achieve this goal, includes Patriotic Ginbot 7 (PG7), Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), All Ethiopian Democratic Party (AEDP), Semayawi Party (Blue), New Generation Party (NGP), Gambella Regional Movement (GRM) and former leaders of Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ).