Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE)
September 5, 2013
We in the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) are deeply disturbed by illegal and violent actions by the TPLF/EPRDF that prevented the Semayawi Party from carrying out its peaceful rally on Sunday, September 1. Despite receiving the go ahead from authorities to stage this lawful rally nearly two months ago, with no warning, federal police stormed and ransacked Semayawi [also known as the Blue Party] headquarters on Saturday, August 31, 2013.
After first cutting off all electricity to their office, the TPLF/EPRDF police officers forcibly took over the office of the Semayawi Party. Leaders and volunteers working on final preparations for the next day’s rally were beaten and kicked by authorities before being detained for a number of hours. After further harassment, interrogation and intimidation in detention, they were released, but the federal police maintained control of Semayawi headquarters until the next morning.