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Ethiopia: Teacher detained - EI writes to Minister of Education

Education International has written to Dr Sintayehu Michael, the Ethiopian Minister of Education, drawing his attention to the case of Mulunesh Abebayehu Teklewold, a female teacher who has been held without trial since November 2005.

The letter follows an international global mission to Ethiopia where EI representatives were able to meet with Ethiopian Minister of Education and secure a meeting between the minister and EI affiliate the ETA. The content of Education International’s letter to the Dr Sintayehu Michael is available in English, below: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- His Excellency Dr Sintayehu Michael Minister of Education P.O. Box 1367 Addis Ababa Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Fax: +251 11 155 0877 Brussels, 30 May 2006 Your Excellency, I would like to thank you personally for the audience you have granted to the members of the Global Union Mission, among whom were two representatives of Education International: Mrs Irene Adanusa, President of the EI African Regional Committee and Mrs Dominique Marlet, EI Coordinator for Human and Trade Union Rights, as well as to Mr Gemoraw Kassa, General Secretary of the Ethiopia Teachers’ Association. The representatives of Education International were perceptive to the Ethiopian government’s longstanding commitment to “building knowledge” and to your strong convictions about the key role of teachers in providing quality education. In Education International, we also share the view that teachers move the education process and therefore need to be valued and listened to. I welcome your readiness to meet with representatives of the Ethiopia Teachers’ Association headed by Gemoraw Kassa. Such an audience will give ETA the opportunity to present the work this professional association carries out on behalf of its members, and the plans it has to further enhance the professional development of teachers. Meanwhile, I would like to share with you disturbing information that was brought to the attention of the members of the Global Union Mission. According to the information gathered – but maybe you have contradicting or additional details on the case – Mulunesh Abebayehu Teklewold, a 53-year old female teacher at the Kelemworke junior secondary school in Addis, was arrested in November 2005. Mulunesh has been detained ever since, without charges, in the Kality prison. She is not part of the current trial at the Kality Federal High Court. Mulunesh is a member of the ETA Addis Ababa womens’ wing. Education International is concerned that Mulunesh has been detained since November 2005 without charges, at least none that she or her husband, or ETA are aware of. Considering that Mulunesh is a teacher, I ask your ministry to look into this case and obtain details from the Ministry of Justice about any fault she may have committed which would explain her imprisonment. I would really appreciate it if your ministry could keep EI informed of its findings about the case of Mrs Mulunesh Abebayehu Teklewold. Yours sincerely, Fred van Leeuwen General Secretary cc: Ethiopian Embassy in Brussels – ILO Sub-Regional Office

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