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McCollum Stands Up For Human Rights In Remarks to Minnesota’s Oromo Community

April 19, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON — This morning, Congresswoman Betty McCollum addressed a large delegation of the Minnesota Oromo community visiting Washington today to attend a briefing held by the United States House of Representative’s Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. In her address, Congresswoman McCollum reiterated her concern about human rights abuses against the Oromo people in Ethiopia.

Congresswoman McCollum delivered the following remarks:

Greetings and welcome to Washington! Thank you for being here today in the U.S. House to add your voices to the cause of human rights in Ethiopia.

The Lantos Human Rights Commission briefing today is an important step to informing and educating Congress about the unacceptable treatment of Oromos in Ethiopia. The current situation in Ethiopia must not be allowed to continue. The Oromo people are suffering and I share your concern. Peaceful protesters are being imprisoned, they are being tortured, they are being killed.

The Ethiopian Government must be held accountable and it will take pressure from Congress and the Obama Administration to end the repression of the people of Oromia. Later this week I will be meeting with Ethiopia’s ambassador to the U.S. and the message that I will deliver is – stop the detentions, stop the repression, stop the killing – and respect human rights!

Ethiopia benefits greatly from its relationship with the United States. The American people provide hundreds of millions of dollars of food aid, health care funding, and agriculture assistance to Ethiopia. We must demand in return that human rights be respected. We must demand human rights for the Oromo people!

Friends, I am proud to represent so many Oromo Americans who live my district in Minnesota. Thank you for sharing your strong voices! Thank you for fighting for human rights!