Opposition allowed to demonstrate, date changed

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Bue PartyDe Birhan

May 24, 2013

The Addis Abeba City Government has sent a letter to the opposition Blue/Semayawi Party today permitting it to hold its planned demonstration  in Addis Abeba but on a different date. The letter has been posted on the Party’s Page this afternoon. State media have also reported the permission.

The letter reads ” Your Party, on a letter written on 24/5/2013, has stated that it has planned to organise a peaceful demonstration.  You have been given recognition to hold the peaceful demonstration on 01/06/2013 in the place that the law permits. Respective organs mentioned in the  C.C. should be aware that they have been given recognition to hold the demonstration and thus provide them the necessary cooperation”.

Bule Party said yesterday that the officials in the City Government had refused to accept their letter but finally left a copy of their letter on the office table in the presence of three witnesses.

Today, for the first time the City Government in a letter sent from the Mayor’s office allowed the Party to hold the demonstration and sent c.c. to the National Security Service, Federal Police and City Police.

This afternoon, Blue Party has stated that the date and place of the demonstration has been changed. Thus it will be held on 01/06/2013  at the Ethio-Cuba Square. The change has come after the City Government explained that due to the on going AU meeting and the presence high level foreign officials and dignitaries the government said is short of security to maintain law and order and requested the Party to postpone the demonstration to a later date and specified place.

Earlier the Party planned to the demonstrate outside the African Union (AU) on the date that the AU celebrates its 50th anniversary, May 25, 2013.

The Party had called all political parties, civic organizations and citizens to join the peaceful demonstration that calls for the release of all prisoners of conscience such as politicians and journalists,  opposes the forced eviction  (ethnic cleansing) of Ethiopians, government’s interference in religious affairs and calls the regime to act on corruption, high cost of living and corruption.

The letter is attached with this report.

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