Ethiopians across the world and social media are expressing their outrage against the Ethiopian government after alleged photographs of Ethiopian Surma communities bound and gagged by Ethiopian government forces emerged online.
Preparations to hold protest rallies across the world are also underway.
The community is famous for its cultural Donga or Saginay stick fighting.
Images attached here, emerged yesterday purporting to show Surma men shackled and tied in with ropes to one another by soldiers, whose faces look like are from Ethiopian highlands, and wearing a special military uniform.
Obang Metho, the Director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) wrote on his page:
These heart-wrenching photos of the people of Omo valley region of Ethiopia make me feel numb and irritable. It reminds me of the 17th and 18th-century slavery.
And SMNE on a statement said
These fellow-Ethiopians are being threatened with human rights violations and atrocities by the TPLF/EPRDF’s troops in the region as the regime moves ahead to remove the people from their land in another crony development scheme for a state-owned sugar plantation on 245,000 hectares of land with an additional 100,000 or more hectares of some of the most fertile land committed for other agricultural projects. Those who resist, face state-sponsored human rights crimes.
Some social media activists have even compared the actions of the current TPLF/EPRDF government to 18th century slavery in the West.
— Natnael Mekonnen (@NatnaelMekonne7) March 7, 2016
Ethiopians across all religious, political and ethnic backgrounds are condemning the abuse on the Surma communities.
— Mahlet (@faantish2) March 6, 2016
— Ethiopian Press (@abenezer_a) March 6, 2016
— #SiiTube (@SiiTube) March 6, 2016
Ethiopian netizens are calling on the international community tagging rights organisations, international media and donor nations to pay a heed to the images and the reflections of similar abuses across the country.