Marco RubioWashington, D.C. U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) today introduced a resolution with 11 other senators condemning the lethal violence used by the government of Ethiopia against protestors, journalists and others in civil society for exercising their rights under Ethiopia’s constitution.

The resolution calls on the Secretary of State to conduct a review of U.S. security assistance to Ethiopia in light of allegations that Ethiopian security forces have killed civilians.  It also calls upon the government of Ethiopia to halt violent crackdowns, conduct a credible investigation into the killing of protesters, and hold perpetrators of such violence accountable.

“Peaceful protestors and activists have been arrested, tortured and killed in Ethiopia for simply exercising their basic rights,” said Rubio. “I condemn these abuses and the Ethiopian government’s stunning disregard for the fundamental rights of the Ethiopian people. I urge the Obama Administration to prioritize respect for human rights and political reforms in the U.S. relationship with Ethiopia.”

“I am shocked by the brutal actions of the Ethiopian security forces, and offer condolences to the families of those who have been killed.  The Ethiopian constitution affords its citizens the right to peaceful assembly and such actions by Ethiopian government forces are unacceptable,” said Cardin. “The government’s heavy-handed tactics against journalists and use of the 2009 Anti-Terrorism and Charities and Societies Proclamations to stifle free speech and legitimate political dissent demonstrate a troubling lack of respect for democratic freedoms and human rights.”

Full text of the resolution can be found here.