Dear Oromo Constituents,

Thank you for the critical work you are doing in reaching out to your senators and representatives to ensure that the Oromo voice is heard and that the sacrifices of many brave Oromos are brought to light and translated into action.

It is very important that you follow up your April 19th meeting with your senator and or representative with a thank you letter. Below are sample thank you letters you can use.

Please pay very close attention to the title for each sample letter and select the appropriate one for you. Be sure to carefully review the letter to make sure you have filled in all the appropriate blanks and deleted any statements that may not apply to your meeting.

SENATE Letter 1: sample thank you letter to a Senator who has not yet signed on or co-sponsored the resolution.

Dear Senator _________________,

The Oromo community in ________ [Enter community organization name or state]   would like to express our appreciation for the opportunity to meet with your staff [give the names of the persons on the Senator’s staff who met with you — refer to the card that you collected at the meeting i.e. Ms. XXX and Mr. XX] on April 19, 2016 in Washington, DC.   We know that this office is very busy and we are grateful that you made time to schedule a meeting with us about the Ethiopian government’s crackdown on dissent in the country and the human rights challenges facing the Oromo and other people in Ethiopia.  We appreciate your willingness to work with us to discuss ways to influence Ethiopia in a more democratic direction.

We strongly urge you to cosponsor the Cardin Resolution [Senate Resolution #432] on “supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia.”  We are pleased that the resolution was introduced and referred to Committee on April 20.  See this link for the Resolution Text https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-resolution/432/text and this link for the Press Release http://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/ranking/release/cardin-rubio-colleagues-condemn-ethiopias-crackdown-on-civil-society-

Since our meeting, we learned that the Ethiopian government disregarded its constitution, the appeal of its citizens, and the international community in charging a number of detained protesters as terrorists.  These charges include Bekele Gerba, a prominent opposition member and Deputy Chair of the Oromo Federalist Congress, who is himself a strong advocate of nonviolence. We urge you to call for their immediate and unconditional release. Please note that Human Rights Watch’s report from April 12, 2016 details the Ethiopian government’s continued use of violence against peaceful dissenters and its execution of a total media blackout which prevents any reporting on it own repressive tactics  (https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/04/12/deafening-silence-ethiopia).

We look forward to continuing this conversation as events unfold and to future meetings with the Senator and the dedicated staff concerning civil liberties in Ethiopia for the Oromo and others. In the meantime, if we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

First Last Name

Title and Organization (if applicable)

Address, email, phone number

 

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SENATE Letter 2: for Senators who are Co-Sponsors

On behalf of the Oromo Community of ______ we would like to take the opportunity to thank you for signing on as a cosponsor of the Cardin Resolution ‘on supporting respect for human rights and inclusive governance in Ethiopia.”  We are very pleased that the Resolution was referred to the Senate on April 20, 2016 (http://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/ranking/release/cardin-rubio-colleagues-condemn-ethiopias-crackdown-on-civil-society-).

Without your recognition and support, the plight of thousands of Oromo student and displaced farmers would go unnoticed. By enlisting your help, we ensure the steady growth of awareness of the human right crisis taking place in Ethiopia. We must strive to continually ensure that Ethiopia respects the human and civil rights of all of its citizens.  It is only when Ethiopia is pressed to institute true democratic reforms will there be peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.

Oromo constituents in your state and across the nation have watched the breakdown of democracy in Ethiopia and have been in contact with your office in search of assistance to end Ethiopia’s violent reaction to peaceful dissent. On their behalf, we thank you again for supporting the respect of human rights and democratic reform in Ethiopia.

Since our meeting, we learned that the Ethiopian government has disregarded its own constitution, the appeal of its citizens, and the international community to charge a number of detained protesters as “terrorists”  This includes Bekele Gerba, a prominent opposition member and Deputy Chair of the Oromo Federalist Congress and advocate of nonviolence. We urge you to call for their immediate and unconditional release. Please note that Human Rights Watch’s report from April 12,  2016 details the Ethiopian government’s continued use of violence against dissenters and its execution of a total media blackout which prevents reporting on the government’s own repressive tactics (https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/04/12/deafening-silence-ethiopia).

Thank you again for joining us to address the conditions in Ethiopia

Sincerely,

First Last Name

Title and Organization (if applicable)

Address, email, phone number

 

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 HOUSE Letter 1: Thank you letter for House of Representative Member

Dear Representative _________________,

I would like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to meet with [Insert staffer’s name i.e Mr. xxx and Ms.xx] while I was in Washington, DC. I know your staff is very busy, and I was pleased that we were able to meet and discuss issues that are important to the Oromo and other communities from Ethiopia.

[Staffer’s Name] and I had a productive conversation about the Ethiopian government’s treatment of dissent, its human rights violations, and its restriction on civil society in Ethiopia.  We documented Ethiopia’s particularly harsh crackdown on the peaceful expression of dissent by students and farmers protesting large scale land confiscation.

Since our meeting, we learned that the Ethiopian government disregarded its constitution, the appeal of its citizens, and the international community and charged a number of detained protesters as terrorists.  This includes Bekele Gerba, a prominent opposition member and Deputy Chair of the Oromo Federalist Congress and advocate of nonviolence. We urge you to call for their immediate and unconditional release.  Please note that Human Rights Watch’s report from April 12, 2016 details the Ethiopian government’s continued use of violence against peaceful dissenters and its execution of a total media blackout which prevents reporting on the government’s own repressive tactics (https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/04/12/deafening-silence-ethiopia).

We ask that the Representative call for a full Hearing on the human rights and governance situation in Ethiopia before either the Lantos Commission on Human Rights or the House Subcommittee on Africa, Human Rights and International Organizations.

We look forward to continuing this conversation with your office concerning civil liberties in Ethiopia for the Oromo and others in Ethiopia.  In the meantime, if we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Sincerely,

First Last Name

Title and Organization (if applicable)

Address, email, phone number

 

 

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