Statement on the incident in Leeds

15 Mar 2016

The Ethiopian Embassy in London wishes to express its indignation at the outrageous and unlawful incident that took place in Leeds, UK over the weekend. The ugly episode was created by individuals flaunting the banners of opposition groups outlawed in Ethiopia.

The incident happened when two diplomats from the Ethiopian Embassy in London were conducting a meeting with members of the Ethiopian community. As soon as the meeting started, a group of people who were sitting among the peaceful audience started creating chaotic scenes by shouting, flipping chairs and threatening participants.

Some among them went towards the two diplomats, manhandled and physically assaulted them, not to mention the words of threats and insults they heaped on them. Subsequently, even though the peaceful audience wanted the resumption of the meeting, a decision was taken to postpone the meeting in the interest of public safety.

It is profoundly regrettable that the organisers and perpetrators of the chaos made a video recording of their shameful behaviour and posted it on their facebook pages and other internet sites, proudly presenting it as an act of bravado.

The Embassy is currently exploring legal options in order to address the issue and prevent similar occurrences from happening in the future.  The Embassy also wishes to make it clear that it will continue to reach out to Ethiopian communities and hold peaceful meetings including the postponed meeting in Leeds, with appropriate security arrangements in place.

—ENDS—

Statement
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