Washington (HAN) September 18.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) was the lead Democrat co-sponsor on House Resolution 861, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), which calls for the respect of human rights and inclusive governance in Ethiopia.
During a press conference introducing the legislation, the 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist in the marathon Feyisa Lilesa made an appearance. Lilesa expressed his solidarity with the Oromo people by raising his arms during the Olympics as he crossed the finish line.
“I stand in solidarity with the Oromo people in Ethiopia,” said Rep. Ellison. “For too long, journalists, bloggers, students, and political opponents have been wrongfully arrested, or in some cases, killed. With Minnesota being home to the largest Oromo and Ogaden community in North America, I hear their stories often and I offer my condolences to their families and loved ones. While Ethiopia is an important ally for the United States, continuing to let the Ethiopian government oppress its own people will only further destabilize the region. We must do all we can to ensure that the human rights of all Ethiopians are respected.”
Additional co-sponsors include Rep. Al Green (D-TX), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Eliot Engel (D-NY). Text of the resolution can be found here.