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Tampa Protesters Seek to Raise Awareness of Human Rights Abuse in Ethiopia

TAMPA, Fla. — Protesters gathered Monday morning in Tampa to bring awareness to human rights abuses in Ethiopia.

Dozens of Tampa’s Ethiopian community took to the streets downtown, waving American and Ethiopian flags.

“We are here in Tampa in a small way to show up in solidarity with people back home,” said organizer Emmanuel Bedaso.

Sociopolitical tensions in the country have led to human rights abuses, like limitations on free speech and arrests of opposition officials.

“We call for the justice especially for those people that were killed or whose family are getting killed and who are suffering under this,” said one protester.

It’s a big concern to Tampa’s Oromo community — the region where much of the unrest is happening.

“We are from that area. Even though we are a small community we want the American people and the Tampa natives to be aware [what is happening with our community],” Bedaso said.

Many still have family in Ethiopia and can’t communicate with loved ones back home since much contact has been cut off.

They hope to encourage American leaders to put pressure on the Ethiopian government to demand change.

“We want to bring awareness to the American people – though it’s Labor Day and a holiday here, there’s nothing like that back home,” he said.

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