Vigil for killed Ethiopi­ans

Central Leader - - NEWS - By KA­RINA ABADIA

A me­mo­rial ser­vice was held on May 3 to mourn the nearly 30 Ethiopi­ans killed by ISIS in Libya.

The ter­ror­ist group ex­e­cuted two groups of Ethiopi­ans, ac­cord­ing to a video en­ti­tled Un­til There Came to Them Clear Ev­i­dence, which was re­leased on April 19.

One group was re­port­edly be­headed on a beach along the Mediter­ranean, while the other was said to be shot in South­ern Libya.

Ethiopian Com­mu­nity of Auck­land pres­i­dent Dagninet Shiferaw says it was an ap­palling act of vi­o­lence.

‘‘They had been asked by ISIS to change their reli­gion from Chris­tian to Mus­lim.

‘‘They re­fused to do that so about 28 Ethiopi­ans were killed,’’ Shiferaw says.

Gemal, who was an Ethiopian Mus­lim, was also sense­lessly killed while try­ing to save his fel­low Ethiopi­ans, Shiferaw says.

More than 70 peo­ple gath­ered at Wes­ley Com­mu­nity Cen­tre for the me­mo­rial and can­dlelit vigil.

There were tears while watch­ing the video, Shiferaw says.

‘‘We were re­ally an­gry at the Libyan Gov­ern­ment for not re­spond­ing quickly to what hap­pened.

‘‘Even when they did ac­knowl­edge it, the Gov­ern­ment didn’t strongly de­nounce the ac­tions of ISIS.’’

The com­mu­nity also paid re­spect to the sev­eral Libyans who were set alight in a xeno­pho­bic attack in South Africa in April.

‘‘We re­ally want to cre­ate aware­ness among the New Zealand Gov­ern­ment and peo­ple about the fact that Ethiopi­ans are be­ing tar­geted in Libya and other African coun­tries.

‘‘We want the New Zealand Gov­ern­ment to bring [in] more Ethiopian suf­fer­ing coun­tries.’’

There is no free­dom of ex­pres­sion in Ethiopia, Shiferaw says.

‘‘Re­cently when peo­ple protested against ISIS they were beaten by the Ethiopian po­lice.

‘‘They don’t want them to protest be­cause there is an elec­tion com­ing up.’’

refugees who are in dif­fer­ent African

A show of sol­i­dar­ity against ISIS vi­o­lence at Wes­ley Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

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