[OPE-L] Arrest of Berhanu Nega (former URPE member and New School student) in Ethiopia

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Thu Nov 03 2005 - 08:15:42 EST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dean Baker" <dean.baker1@verizon.net>
To: <urpe-announcements@lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 4:58 AM
Subject: [URPE] Urgent -- Arrest of Berhanu Nega (former URPE person)

*Urgent: Arrest of Berhanu Nega In Ethiopia – including *

* *

<>The government of Ethiopia arrested 7 leaders of the political
opposition following a series of protests over election irregularities.
One of the leaders arrested following the protests was Berhanu Nega.
URPE types may know Berhanu either from his days as a grad student at
New School in the eighties or as a professor at Bucknell University in
the nineties.

Police fired on the protests, killing at least 30 and wounding 50
others. A fuller description of the situation can be found on Amnesty
International’s website

At the bottom of this message there is a short note prepared by his
former colleagues at Bucknell University when he was arrested by the
Ethiopian government in 2001. (He was released and the government never
tried him on the crimes with which he was charged at the time of his

It is essential for Berhanu’s life and freedom (as well as the
well-being of the others being detained) that people let the Ethiopian
government know that they are monitoring the situation. Please contact
your representatives in Congress and ask that they contact the State
Department and express their concern about the human rights situation in
Ethiopia. Also contact the State Department and ask them to express
their concern over the imprisonment of the political opposition’s

Send your letters to:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

You can also call the State Department at 202-647-4000.

Short simple notes along the lines of the following are fine:

Dear Secretary Rice:

I am contacting to you to express my concern about recent events in
Ethiopia. After a protest over election regularities in which 30 people
were killed, the government arrested Dr. Berhanu Nega and 6 other
leaders of the political opposition. This is not the first time that the
Ethiopian government has arrested Dr. Nega and other leaders of the
political opposition during periods of crisis. I hope that you will
express your concern to the Ethiopian government and insist that they
release these 7 political prisoners.


Please also contact the Ethiopian Embassy to let them know that you are
following the situation and expect them to respect the rights of the
opposition political leaders. It is also helpful to copy them on any
correspondence with your representatives in Congress or the State

Ambassador Kassahun Ayele

Embassy of Ethiopia
3506 International Dr.

NW Washington, DC 20008
Tel (202)364-1200


Berhanu joined the Bucknell faculty in the fall of 1990 and
remained until his return to Ethiopia in 1994. He completed his
Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from the New School for Social
Research in New York where he won the Frieda Wunderlich Memorial
Award for the outstanding dissertation. He completed his
undergraduate studies at SUNY-New Palz. Prior to pursuing his
graduate degree he was a research consultant at CitiBank.
Professor Nega is a recognized scholar both in the U.S. and in
Ethiopia. Last year (2000) he served as president of the Ethiopian
Economics Society and in January presented a widely circulated paper
dealing with "The Role of the Business Community in National
Development," to the General Assembly of the Addis Ababa Chamber of
Commerce. He is a co-author of the first annual report on the
Ethiopian Economy.
Professor Nega, his wife and two children returned to
Ethiopia after the coup in the early 1990s made it possible for
intellectuals to again work in the country. His goal there, as it
was here, was to work with and educate students. In addition to
challenging students desperate for advanced education he worked to
move his country's economic development process forward.


Dean Baker (baker@cepr.net)
Center for Economic and Policy Research
1611 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20009
202-293-5380 (ext 114)
202-332-5218 (H)

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