Please email Elizabeth Fraser at [email protected] by COB Friday 6 May if your organisation is willing to sign on to this letter in support of Okello Akway Ochalla. Dear friends and colleagues, In March 2014, indigenous land rights defender Okello Akway Ochalla was abducted from South Sudan in complete disregard of the extradition treaty signed between South Sudan and Ethiopia, and international law. Upon arrival in Ethiopia, he was charged under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. His crime? Speaking out about the 2003 massacre of the indigenous Anuak people and the ongoing plight of the people in the Gambella region of Ethiopia. Gambella has been a key target for forced relocations and land grabbing by the Ethiopian Government. In 2003, Mr. Okello was Governor of the region when a massacre of his indigenous Anuak people took place at the hands of Ethiopian Security Forces. An Anuak himself, Mr. Okello fled Ethiopia and sought asylum in Norway. His ongoing advocacy for justice and the rights of the Anuak is at the heart of his arrest. On April 27th, after a lengthy trial, Mr. Okello was charged to nine years in prison. You can read more about Mr. Okello’s case here. We are writing to ask you – organizations committed to land, human rights, and development issues – to stand with us in support on this issue. Time is of the essence – there is a 30 day window to appeal Mr. Okello’s sentence, and we have been advised that diplomatic pressure from the US is the best chance for amnesty in Mr. Okello’s case. We have prepared this letter (pdf), to be sent to the White House and other key targets in the US Government, to demonstrate unified and widespread support for Mr. Okello. We hope that you will join us as signatories of this letter. Please email Elizabeth Fraser at [email protected] by COB Friday May 6th if you are willing to sign on to this letter. Many thanks for your support of Mr. Okello and the ongoing fight for justice in Ethiopia.