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Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Guilty Until Proven Innocent.

EsaTed 12-21-18

In Christianity all sins are forgiven as long as one asks for forgiveness and accepts Christ as his or her savior. Leaving aside the problematic nature of that belief, I can’t help but see the similarities between what happens now in Ethiopia. If you accept Dr. Abiy, all real or made up sins are forgiven. If you don’t… well if you do not, there is a documentary that demonizes an entire group of people who speak the same language. I mean you are going to hell.

And it seems most of our political elite and the people who crowd the political discussion one way or another seem to see nothing wrong when it comes to how the current government is treating people who allegedly broke the law. Instead, what we have seen is the mischaracterization and defaming of people who are genuinely concerned about the direction this country, Ethiopia is going and are trying to sound the alarm to flagthe problem with arresting individuals and presenting them like convicted criminals in Medias, as protecting criminals and groups who oppose the change.

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What I don’t understand is why it is assumed everybody blindly should support the change and accept Dr. Abiy as their choice. I know it may sound crazy in a world where parties who have spent decades fighting EPRDF accept Dr. Abiy of EPRDF as their savior and for the rest of us to not do so.

This effort to silence people with derision and ridicule, so Dr. Abiy’s government consolidate power one way or another is neither  patriotic nor in line with the people’s desire for freedom and justice, economic growth, and the rule of law. It is rather a coward’s way to score cheap political gains and it is a disgrace to all who claim to fight for human rights, the rule of law, and democracy, but remain silent in face of blatant violations of law and act like this is just.

The insincerity is stark here, when the people who decried abuse by the government are now commending it for openly violating the constitution. Although Ineed to give credit when deserved and commend Ato Jawar of OMN for using his platform to raise few concerns and show some consistency in this regard, the irony for all Ethiopian politicians and activists who remain soundless or even have gone as far as reducing people’s real concern to caricature is clear for all to see.

If it was wrong when people were arrested and mistreated by the justice system then, it should be wrong now. But what I see here is selective outrage even worse cheering the current government on to continue breaking the law.And how are we going to be better served when the entire process is tainted no matter what the outcome is? Whatever happened to the old adage “two wrongs don’t make a right”and if the best argument you have is “it was done for 27 years”, I say we may not even have 27 months if we race to the bottom and support “shoot first and ask later”. Or your rights under the justice system are based on whether you support Dr. Abiy’s EPRDF or not.



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