Letter to Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter
The Carter Center
One Copenhill
453 Freedom Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30307

Dear President Carter,

My friend Yalemzewd Bekele is a human rights attorney in Ethiopia. She was arrested and detained in October of last year for simply exercising her free speech and fulfilling her duties as an attorney (see the BBC News for October 27, 2006 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6090970.stm).
Amnesty International came to her aide and she was later nominated by the Index on Censorship for its "Bindman’s Law and Campaigning Award."
Democracy in Ethiopia is under attack by its own leadership. This comes as a huge disappointment to the world community and to me individually. I had the honor of being invited to Ethiopia in 1996 with Education for Democracy International and The American Federation of Teachers to train fellow teachers in Civics Education. I had high hopes for the government of Meles Zenawi and Ethiopia. I was holding out hope despite constant criticism from dissidents that Ethiopia would ultimately work out its problems as a nascent democracy and emerge a beacon of tolerance and freedom. I was in denial. I am now all too aware of the path President Zenawi has taken and it will lead to dictatorship.
I think you ought to reassess your conclusions about the 2005 elections in light of the violent crackdown on dissent following it. I believe your report, your good name and the reputation of The Carter Center are being manipulated by the Ethiopian government to abuse human rights in Ethiopia.
Please open a dialogue with the opposition to assess their views and also check the news about the detentions and killings that followed peaceful demonstrations.
You are the voice of human rights for America throughout the world. No president in the post World War II era has had a bigger impact on the everyday lives of millions of people, especially in Latin America with regard to human rights.
I follow your work in the developing world and am inspired. Please do not sit silently as Ethiopia deteriorates and looses its hope for democracy. I am requesting the honor of meeting with you to further discuss my concern for Ethiopia and the treatment of Yalemzewd Bekele.

Sincerely yours,
Nicola A. DeMarco, JD
195 Prospect Park West, Apt 2D
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215

cc: Meles Zenawi, President of Ethiopia

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at12:05 AM

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