Note to supporters

"I will commence a hunger strike in support of Birtukan Mideksa. It will be in Lafayette Park directly in front of the White House beginning at 2:00 PM. My plan is to stay there until President Barack Obama or someone within his administration makes a public statement about Birtukan Mideksa's status as an Amnesty International prisoner of conscious. I am also demanding that he call for her release to the Ethiopian government. If anyone wishes to join in the hunger strike please come to Lafayette Park at 2:00 PM. The official letter that was sent to Barack Obama is below." Chris Flaherty

Open letter to President Barack Obama

By Chris Flaherty

President Barack Obama
The White House
1500 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC, 20500

May 2nd 2010

Re: Notice of hunger strike

Dear President Obama,

I would like to thank you on the excellent job you have been doing on getting our country back up on itís feet again. I sincerely believe the tough decisions you have made will essentially prove to be the correct ones for our country in due time. Your personal courage has been unbelievable and absolutely inspiring to me. On that note, I would like to bring to your attention the courage of a young woman languishing in a prison in Ethiopia.

Her name is Birtukan Mideksa. I will not go into all the details concerning her biography since I believe you as the President know at least the basics. Birtukan Mideksa was jailed shortly after announcing her bid to run against Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in the 2010 Ethiopian national elections. Regardless of what the Ethiopian government might say, most experts agree she is in prison because she represented the biggest threat to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and his party, the EPRDF. Indeed, Amnesty International has classified Birtukan Mideksa as a PRISONER OF CONSCIOUS.

Recently, you made a public statement giving acknowledgment to the positive efforts of jailed Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi. You also called for her release. Mr. President, Birtukan Mideksa is in jail under the same exact circumstances. I respectfully urge you to make another similar public statement for Birtukan Mideksa. I am not asking you to move mountains. I have studied the issue extensively and I conclude that such an effort on your part will not dilute anything from U.S. foreign policy. It will simply send a powerful message to the World that the U.S. still believes and supports the idea of democracy and freedom for everyone.

On Monday May 3rd , I will commence a hunger strike along with other supporters of Birtukan Mideksa until you or someone within your administration makes a public statement acknowledging the status of Birtukan Mideksa as a jailed prisoner of conscious. We also respectfully demand that you call for her release to the Ethiopian government. We will be sitting in Lafayette Park directly in front of the White House. We hope and pray that you will do what is right.

Respectfully Yours
Christopher P.Flaherty

Chris Flaherty
SandyBeagle Productions
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