EWLA director in hiding?
The Executive Director of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA), Mahdere Paulos has reportedly gone into hiding.
According to Ethio-Chanel, a pro-government newspaper, Mahdere is currently in Kenya and might have fled the country after the government accused her organization of providing ‘false information’ to American State Department, whose human right record report enraged the Ethiopian government.
The paper disclosed that Mahdere sent one of her family members to EWLA’s office on July 6 to present her resignation letter and to give back the office vehicle that she has been using. EWLA called an emergency meeting on the next day and has replaced Mahdere by the Legal and Counseling head, Woizero Shewaye.
The former High Court judge Mahdere has served the Association for three years.She was appointed judge at barely twenty three years of age.
EWLA is an independent woman’s organization working to defend women’s rights and improve civil society throughout Ethiopia. In September 2001, the government abruptly terminated EWLA’s work and froze its bank accounts. To date, the government has not provided any substantive reasons for suspending the organization.