Hailu Shawul (also spelled Shawel; Shawil) (Amharic: ሃእሉ ሻዉል; born 1936) is an Ethiopian engineer and the chairman of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD). He was born in Northern Shewa.
Hailu Shawul was the chairman of Kinijit and succeeded Professor Asrat Woldeyes as the head of the All-Amhara People's Organization (AAPO). However some sources dispute his presidency and show that the AAPO's split into two factions - the All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP) and the United Ethiopian Democratic Party-Medhin - was due to Hailu Shawel not gaining the presidency and thus creating his own party. Many believe that the division was tactically mediated by the EPRDF government interference.He contributed to the transformation of the AAPO into the multi-ethnic AEUP, which was one of several that united October 2004 in the CUD, with the goal of fielding candidates in the May 15, 2005 general elections.
As a result of the protests that followed the general elections, the government placed Hailu Shawul under house arrest for a period. When the CUD held an initially peaceful protest the highly armed government security forces augmented the situation by using excessive forces which turned it violent, leading to the deaths of more than 200 peaceful demonstrators in the capital alone and unknown number in countryside in October 2005. The government claimed death of four police officers. Hailu Shawel and 23 other CUD leaders were arrested and imprisoned on charges of treason and genocide. Still imprisoned in December, Hailu Shawul joined with other CUD prisoners on a hunger strike, which has aggravated his diabetes and threatens his vision. As a result of the hunger strike, Hailu Shawul has lost much of his sight, and gained access to medical care only after being visited by foreign diplomats. On December 2007 the Ethiopian Federal Supreme Court pardoned all twenty-four of the CUD members after they pled guilty and made public apologies; his fellow CUD member, Birtukan Mideksa, who was imprisoned and pardoned with him, claims that their pleas and apologies were coerced.
After being freed from prison, Hailu Shawul traveled to America in January 2008 to get medical care for his diabetes.
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