When Iran’s Ahmadinejad came to New York to speak at Columbia University in 2007, Mr. James Gennaro, a New York City Councilman, blasted Columbia University as an “institution making a mockery – a mockery of civilized discourse by allowing this mad man to participate in it.” (Watch the video below.)
Following the same tradition, Mr. Meles Zenawi, the tyrant in Ethiopia for the last 20 years, is due to speak at Columbia University on September 22, 2010.
Over the last 20 years, under Mr. Zenawi’s watch and direct orders, hundreds and thousands of innocent civilian dissidents in Ethiopia, specifically in Oromia, Ogaden, Gambella and Addis Ababa, were shot dead, were tortured, were thrown to concentration camps, and/or were forced into exile.
Year after year, annual human rights reports of the Human Rights Watch, the Amnesty International and the U.S. Department of State have documented the horrendous crimes against humanity committed by the Zenawi regime with full knowledge and participation of Mr. Zenawi himself. Why is such a man, with despicable records of human rights and with blood of innocent civilians on his hands, allowed a forum, which he will use to legitimize his reign of terror in Ethiopia as well as the Horn of African region?
Freedom of speech and academic freedom are values that should be upheld; however, in the name of free speech and academic freedom, giving a forum to individuals such as Mr. Zenawi will only be taken as a reward for the crimes against humanity that they have thus far committed and a green light for their future human rights violations.
Columbia University on Ahmadinejad’s Visit:
Full ABC Report on Ahmadinejad’s Visit:——————–
* An Open Letter to Columbia University Regarding the Invitation of Meles Zenawi (OPride.com)
* Columbia University withdraws statement about Meles (EthiopianReview.com)