An open letter to the U.S. Congress

Recognize the Atrocities on Tigrayans as a Genocide

340 so far! Let’s get to 500 signers!

Your Excellency, I am writing to you today to urge you to call on the State Department to recognize the ongoing violations on Tigrayans as a genocide. The Geneva Convention of 1948 recognizes the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or part, a group as acts of genocide: 1. Killing members of the group; 2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; 3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; 4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; 5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. I would like to point you to extensive evidence of acts recognized by this convention as genocidal that have been committed on civilians in Tigray. Tigrayan civilians were violently massacred by Ethiopian & Eritrean soldiers & Amhara militia, including massacres at Axum, Mariam Dengelat, & Mahibere Dego that were reported by independent human rights & media organizations. After soldiers massacred civilians, family members & the community were often prevented from burying the bodies, causing immense mental trauma. Recently, the Ethiopian government has massacred 200+ civilians through airstrikes & drone attacks, including a strike on an IDP center that killed 56 civilians. In addition, the civil war has been marked with the use of rape as a weapon of war on Tigrayan women and girls. Tens of thousands of girls & women were raped. During rape, women were told they were being “cleansed” of their Tigrayan blood & were often tortured & mutilated in an attempt to render them infertile. Soldiers also forced family members to watch the rape of their mothers, sisters, & daugthers at gun point, leaving deep mental harm. To make civilian life immeasurably difficult, Tigray has been denied its right to basic essential services for over 14 months. This, in conjunction with the systematic looting & destruction of health centers, farms, power stations, schools, & other civilian infrastructure, has made life unbearable. Having been denied means to support their lives, the population of >6 million is now dependent on humanitarian aid, which the Ethiopian government continues to block. In Western Tigray, Tigrayans are being arbitrarily detained, massacred & >1 million people were forcefully displaced. According to satellite images, civilian settlements were systematically razed to the ground to force people to flee. A determination of genocide in this moment is one that will have immediate real-world impact in terms of saving countless lives. Recognizing the atrocities as genocide will strongly support efforts to engender peace & ensure accountability for grave violations of international humanitarian & human rights laws. It is also the only mechanism by which the world can mitigate further fracture & protracted violence threatening to irreparably rupture the social fabric in Ethiopia.

First sent on January 14 by TigraiHub · 47 signers in the past 24 hours

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