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Sender: owner-imap%webmap.missouri.edu@WUVMD.Wustl.Edu
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 98 11:35:52 CST
From: rich%pencil@WUVMD.Wustl.Edu (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: Ethiopian Unionist Framed
Article: 25283

/** labr.global: 276.0 **/
** Topic: Ethiopian Unionist Framed **
** Written 11:41 PM Jan 9, 1998 by labornews in cdp:labr.global **

Trial date fixed for ’framed’ trade unionist

ICFTU Online. . ., 15 October 1997

Brussels October 15 (ICFTU OnLine): The trial of Taye Woldesmiate the President of the 120,000 strong Ethiopian Teachers’ Association, who has been charged with having links with an underground organisation, the Ethiopian Patriotic Front, has been fixed for October 25. The ICFTU and Education International, the world’s largest teachers body, say that these charges are totally fabricated, and are part of an attempt by the authorities to crush the influential teachers’ union.

Since he took power in 1991 after the collapse of the Mengistu dictatorship, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zanawi has adopted a confrontational course with the opposition and with the democratic trade unions—in 1994 the country’s national trade union centre was delegalised, and has been unable to function since. Mr Waldesmiate himself was first arrested in 1995 after the government refused to recognise the leadership of the ETA, and its offices were closed, despite a court action which ruled in favour of the union. Mr Woldesmiate was released, but re-arrested in May 1996, after visiting trade unions in Europe, and held in solitary confinement until August this year.