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Oromo Political Detainees Tortured: Human Rights Watch’s Latest Document on Ethiopia October 19, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Dictatorship, Human Rights, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoo

The report documents human rights abuses, unlawful investigation tactics, and detention conditions in Maekelawi between 2010 and 2013. Human Rights Watch in this latest document reports that Ethiopian authorities have subjected political detainees to torture and other ill-treatment at the main detention center in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa).  The report also calls for the Ethiopian government to take urgent steps to curb illegal practices in the Federal Police Crime Investigation Sector, known as Maekelawi, impartially investigate allegations of abuse, and hold those responsible to account.

The 70-page report, “‘They Want a Confession’: Torture and Ill-Treatment in Ethiopia’s Maekelawi Police Station,” documents serious human rights abuses, unlawful interrogation tactics, and poor detention conditions in Maekelawi since 2010. Those detained in Maekelawi include scores of opposition politicians, journalists, protest organizers, and alleged supporters of ethnic insurgencies. Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 35 former Maekelawi detainees and their relatives who described how officials had denied their basic needs, tortured, and otherwise mistreated them to extract information and confessions, and refused them access to legal counsel and their relatives.

“Ethiopian authorities right in the heart of the capital regularly use abuse to gather information,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director. “Beatings, torture, and coerced confessions are no way to deal with journalists or the political opposition.”

Since the disputed elections of 2005, Ethiopia has intensified its clampdown on peaceful dissent. Arbitrary arrest and political prosecutions, including under the country’s restrictive anti-terrorism law, have frequently been used against perceived opponents of the government who have been detained and interrogated at Maekelawi.
‘One [police officer] hit me on the back of my head with a long black stick and blindfolded me. They took me to their office. These were interrogators. They slapped me on the cheeks repeatedly…. But these interrogators are not in a position to listen to what I tell them. They beat me again with the black stick and slapped me again. I stayed in that room until midnight. I was exhausted. They took me back to the cell and then took another guy. On the second day of interrogations—the beating was worse. What they want is a confession.’—Journalist held in Maekelawi in mid-2011, Nairobi, April 2012,  p. 6.

“Oromo student held in Maekelawi in 2012, said his hand was broken when he was beaten on his hand while being held in this position and that over a year later his hand continues to hurt:’In the interrogation room there was small piece of metal on the wall. They put me on it and locked my left hand to the wall and then my legs didn’t touch the ground. They beat me on my left hand. I think I was there one hour, but I don’t know as I lost my memory,’ ” p. 34. 

Read  further more from the following sites:

http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/ethiopia1013_ForUpload.pdf
http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/10/18/ethiopia-political-detainees-tortured

Are Oromos Singled Out and Disproportionately Tortured in Ethiopia?

http://oromopress.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/are-oromos-singled-out-and.html

Torture in the heart of Finfinnee (Addis), even as leaders gather in gleaming AU building

“Getachew,” a 22-year-old ethnic Oromo, was snatched from his university dorm, driven hundreds of kilometres to Addis Ababa, and locked up for eight months in Maekelawi. His parents were never informed of his whereabouts; he was never charged or given access to a lawyer; and never appeared before court. He was ultimately released on condition that he would work for the government.Like Getachew, many of the people detained in Maekelawi over the past decade are political prisoners — arrested because of their ethnicity, their real or perceived political opinions and actions, or journalism work. Voicing peaceful dissent or criticism of government policy is increasingly risky.

http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/OpEd/comment/Torture-in-the-heart-of-Addis-Ababa/-/434750/2038982/-/qfft6

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1. hilina zeleke - October 20, 2013

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