Text: H.Res.128 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Engrossed in House (04/10/2018)

[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H. Res. 128 Engrossed in House (EH)]

H. Res. 128

                In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

                                                        April 10, 2018.
Whereas the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has been an important 
        partner of the United States and a regional leader in promoting economic 
        growth, global health, and peace and security;
Whereas Ethiopia has helped advance the national interests of the United States 
        and regional partners, including through contributions to international 
        peacekeeping, combating radical Islamist extremism and other forms of 
        terrorism, and regional cooperation through the African Union;
Whereas Ethiopia has made great strides in addressing significant challenges in 
        global health, child survival, and food security;
Whereas Ethiopia's transition from authoritarian rule to participatory democracy 
        has not kept pace with other reforms;
Whereas the ruling Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) 
        claimed to win 99.6 percent of the vote in elections that were deemed 
        neither free nor fair in 2010 and all 546 parliamentary seats in 2015, 
        thereby further consolidating the EPRDF's single party rule;
Whereas the Charities and Societies Proclamation and Anti-Terrorism 
        Proclamation, both enacted in 2009, have accelerated the contraction of 
        democratic space, severely limited the practice of fundamental human 
        rights, enabled abuses by security forces, and impeded efforts to 
        promote accountability for such abuses in Ethiopia;
Whereas government forces launched a violent crackdown on protests by ethnic 
        Oromo and Amhara over their perceived marginalization in 2015, resulting 
        in hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of arrests;
Whereas the Government of Ethiopia has recently released hundreds of political 
        prisoners, but has continued to periodically detain government critics 
        and opposition figures;
Whereas the Government of Ethiopia has periodically imposed a state of emergency 
        that even further restricts freedoms of assembly, association, and 
        expression, including through blockage of mobile internet access and 
        social media communication;
Whereas the 2017 Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 
        for Ethiopia cited serious human rights violations, including arbitrary 
        arrests, killings, and torture committed by security forces, 
        restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of association, 
        politically motivated trials, harassment, and intimidation of opposition 
        members and journalists; and
Whereas these persistent human right abuses, including state-sponsored violence 
        against civilians in the Oromia, Amhara, and Somali regions of Ethiopia, 
        as well as the abuse of laws to stifle journalistic freedoms, stand in 
        direct contrast to democratic principles, violate the Constitution of 
        Ethiopia, and undermine Ethiopia's position as a regional leader for 
        economic growth, peace, and security: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
            (1) recognizes and commends Ethiopia's efforts to promote regional 
        peace and security, including through the contribution of peacekeeping 
        forces to regional and United Nations peacekeeping operations;
            (2) recognizes the importance of continued United States and 
        Ethiopian partnership in combating terrorism, promoting economic growth 
        and opportunity, and addressing global health challenges;
            (3) notes with deep concern persistent reports of widespread human 
        rights abuses and the contraction of democratic space in Ethiopia, which 
        may threaten stability and reverse economic progress over the long term;
            (4) condemns the use of excessive force by Ethiopian security 
        forces, including the killing of unarmed protesters, and the wrongful 
        arrest and detention of journalists, students, activists, and political 
        leaders exercising their constitutional rights to freedom of assembly, 
        association, and expression;
            (5) recognizes and commends the recent peaceful and voluntary 
        transfer of authority from Prime Minister Hailemariam to new Prime 
        Minister Abiy and welcomes Prime Minister Abiy's inaugural speech 
        calling for open political competition and the defense of fundamental 
        human rights;
            (6) calls on the Government of Ethiopia to--
                    (A) lift the state of emergency;
                    (B) repeal or amend proclamations used as a tool to suppress 
                human rights in Ethiopia, including the Charities and Societies 
                Proclamation and Anti-Terrorism Proclamation of 2009, and 
                respect the rights of Ethiopian citizens to freedom of assembly 
                and expression, in keeping with Articles 30 and 29 of the 
                Ethiopian Constitution;
                    (C) end the use of excessive force by Ethiopian security 
                forces and hold accountable those responsible for killing, 
                torturing, or otherwise abusing the human rights of civilians 
                exercising their constitutional rights through fair and public 
                    (D) release all activists, journalists, and opposition 
                figures who have been wrongfully imprisoned for exercising their 
                constitutional rights, including those arrested for reporting 
                about public protests;
                    (E) improve transparency around development policies and 
                activities that may infringe upon the human rights of local 
                communities; and
                    (F) allow for an independent examination of the state of 
                human rights in Ethiopia by a rapporteur appointed by the United 
            (7) urges protesters in Ethiopia to refrain from the use or 
        incitement of violence in demonstrations;
            (8) urges opposition groups and the Government of Ethiopia to 
        directly engage in peaceful discussions to air grievances and broaden 
        political discourse;
            (9) calls on the Department of State and the United States Agency 
        for International Development--
                    (A) to engage in a cooperative effort with the Government of 
                Ethiopia in the formulation of a comprehensive strategy, in 
                coordination with other donors, to help advance democracy, rule 
                of law, human rights, economic growth, and peace and security in 
                    (B) continue to strengthen ties with Ethiopia, including 
                through the provision of appropriate levels and forms of 
                security assistance, in correlation to the Ethiopian 
                Government's own demonstrated commitment to democracy, rule of 
                law, human rights, economic growth, and peace and security in 
                the region;
                    (C) condemn human rights abuses and the excessive use of 
                force by Ethiopian security forces while pressing for the 
                release of individuals wrongfully detained; and
                    (D) hold accountable individuals responsible for gross human 
                rights violations in Ethiopia through appropriate mechanisms, 
                which may include the imposition of targeted sanctions pursuant 
                to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (Public 
                Law 114-328); and
            (10) stands by the people of Ethiopia and supports their peaceful 
        efforts to increase democratic space and to exercise the rights 
        guaranteed by the Ethiopian Constitution.


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