Representative Maxine Waters Declares Solidarity with Ethiopian People and Support for H.R. 5680

July 11, 2006. Los Angeles, CA -- Representative Maxine Waters (D) Los Angeles, addressed a capacity crowd of Ethiopians on July 7, 2006, assembled for the 23rd annual Ethiopian soccer tournament and cultural event at the historic Los Angeles Coliseum. Her keynote speech was accompanied by thunderous applause on numerous occasions. Congresswoman Waters brought the crowd to its feet when she declared her unequivocal support for H.R. 5680, the “Ethiopia Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights Advancement Act of 2006.” This bi-partisan human rights bill co-sponsored by New Jersey representatives Chris Smith (R) and Donald Payne (D), among others, aims to promote the protection of human rights, asks for the unconditional release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, and growth of democratic institutions and practices in Ethiopia.Congresswoman Waters said, "All political prisoners and prisoners of conscience must be released immediately and unconditionally".Congresswoman Waters informed the crowd that in the past year she has been inundated with information about the conditions in Ethiopia among others, by Ethiopian Taxi drivers in the Washington D.C. area which pushed her to critically examine the situation and that she has become increasingly concerned about the human rights situation there following the May 2005 elections. Congresswoman Waters said she has been working with other members of the congressional Black Caucus, including representatives Payne, Rangel and Lee to support H.R. 5680, which passed by a unanimous vote in the House International Relations Committee on June 27, 2006. Furthermore, the Congresswoman has committed to support the passage of the same Act when the Bill is presented to the Full House.We call on everyone who stands for democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Ethiopia to call on their Representatives and urge them to support H.R. 5680, the “Ethiopia Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights Advancement Act of 2006.”
H.R. 5680 Task Force
For more information, E-mail: , Tel #: (310) 599-0200

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