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AI: ETHIOPIA TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT: License to torture March 29, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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A license to torture

Seyoum Teshome is a professor at a university in Ethiopia and writes to fight the spread of fear that has engulfed his country as a result of an increasingly repressive administration. In September 2016, Seyoum was arrested and charged with incitement to violence against the state. In this blog, he describes the treatment of prisoners in one of Ethiopia’s rehabilitation centres, where he was detained further to his arrest. Thousands of Ethiopians like Seyoum have been arrested and tortured in rehabilitation centres since the state of emergency was imposed in October 2016.

It was around 6:30 am on 30 September 2016 when I was rudely awakened by loud knocks on my door and someone shouting out my name. Peeping through the keyhole, I saw around 10 local police officers. Some of them were staring at the door while others were guarding the corridor.

I said to myself, “Yap! At last…here you go, they have come for you!”

One of them asked if I was Mr Seyoum Teshome to which I replied in the affirmative. They said they wanted to talk to me for a moment, so I opened the door. They showed me a court warrant which gave them permission to search my house. The warrant indicated that I had illegal weapons and pamphlets to incite violence against the government.

Accused without evidence

After searching my entire house and despite finding no signs of the said items, they arrested and took me to a local police station. They also carried off my laptop, smartphone, notebooks and some papers. Confident that they hadn’t found the items mentioned in the court warrant, I was certain of my release. However, three hours later, I found myself being interrogated by a local public prosecutor and two police investigators. The interrogation eventually led to the commencement of a legal charge.

I was scheduled to sit a PhD entry exam on 2 October 2017 at Addis Ababa University, something I had been working towards for a very long time. Throughout the interrogation, my pleas for the case to be hastened so that I wouldn’t miss the rare opportunity to pursue a PhD course fell on deaf ears. My colleagues had provided a car and allowance fee for a police officer to go with me to the university so that I could sit the exam. This is a standard procedure. Yet on that day, they were not willing to lend me a hand. I was stuck in pre-trial detention due to Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and missed my chance.

Little did I know that, in just 12 hours, I would be the state’s guest for merely expressing my opinion.
Seyoum Teshome

The day before my arrest, I had given an interview to Deutche Welle-Amharic radio station about the nation-wide teachers meeting where I commented that, in Ethiopia, expressing one’s own opinion could lead to arrest, exile or possibly death. Little did I know that, in just 12 hours, I would be the state’s guest for merely expressing my opinion.

On 3 October 2016, I was presented in court. I was accused of writing articles and posts on social media sites aiming to incite violence against the government. In addition to the two notebooks and papers they had taken from my house, the investigator had also printed 61 pages of the 58 articles I posted on the Horn Affairs website that year. In total, they brought more than 200 pages of written and printed writings as evidence to support their allegations. I denied all the charges.

Another court session was scheduled in 10 days to allow the police to conclude their investigations. The 10 days lapsed and the police requested an additional seven days to complete their investigations on me while denying me bail.

On 20 October 2016, a jury found there was no evidence to support the police department’s claims. I thought the matter was over but I was immediately accused of contravening the State of Emergency that had been declared on 9 October 2017. A piece of paper with some writing on it was presented as evidence to support the charge.

Barely survived

The Police initially took me to Tolay Military Camp and later transferred me, together with others arrested, to Woliso Woreda Police Station in central Ethiopia, outside Addis Ababa.  We were shoved into a 3×5 metres squared detention room where we joined more than 45 other people already there. It was very hard to find a place to sit. I survived suffocation by breathing through a hole beneath the door. After that terrible night, I was taken back to Tolay where I stayed until 21 December, 2016 – 56 days after my arrest.

Access to food in the first 20 days was limited. We were made to walk while crouching with our hands behind our heads. We also walked barefoot to and from the toilet and dining areas. Due to this treatment, three of my fellow detainees suffered cardiac arrest. I don’t know whether or not they survived. I also heard that a woman’s pregnancy was terminated.

Every day, a police officer came to our room and called out the names of detainees to be taken for the so-called “investigation.”  When they returned, the detainees had downtrodden faces and horrible wounds on their backs and legs.  Waiting for one’s name to be called was agony.

The healing wound on the back of Seyoum’s leg after being beaten with wood and plastic sticks while in detention.

It took eight days before my name was finally called. I sat in front of five investigators flanked on either side by two others. While I was being interrogated, detainees in another room were being beaten. I could hear them crying and begging their torturers to stop.

Moved by what I had witnessed, I decided to secretly gather the detainees’ information. It didn’t take long before I was discovered by the authorities. On a hot afternoon, they came to my room and called my name. A group of investigators ruthlessly began beating me, to the point where I fainted three times. The beatings were unbearable so I finally confessed to collecting information in the camp. The chief investigator was then called in so that I could also confess to him.

Undeterred

By then, I had gained enough strength to renounce my earlier confessions which angered   the Chief Investigator very much. He drew a pistol and threatened to kill me for making a fool out of them. I stretched turned around and spread my arms wide.  Then, I said, “Fear of death doesn’t make me confess against myself! Go ahead, shoot!”

Amazingly, the commander ordered me to go to my room and take a shower. I didn’t believe it. I still don’t. I quickly ran off. I was released a little over two weeks later.

Though I finally left Tolay, those memories and emotions are still with me. Though I am still afraid of another arbitrary arrest and being sent back to prison, what I fear more is the totalitarian state that complete denies freedom. . While there, I told myself that, if I made it out, I would raise international awareness on the government’s outrageous treatment of prisoners.

I will continue to do so as long as Tolay exists.

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State of emergency: Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s government command post soldiers raping and killing November 8, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Ethiopian government command post raping and killing

Via Beekan G Erena, Ayyaantuu.net, 7 November 2016


Ethiopian government command post raping and killing times and tactics ,and the story of two ladies raped by TPLF soldiers.

fascist-ethiopias-regime-forces-are-conducting-rape-and-mass-killings

We never forget our victims


The time was nearly around 7:00pm when the girl was walking to shop. The command post stopped, slapped her for no reason and asked where she is going. Next one of the command post members forcefully grabbed her cell phone and asked her if she has husband. The girl told them that she is a high school student living in a rented room. Then the soldier who grabbed her cell phone put her under gun point and asked her to walk to her rented room. He entered into the girl’s room following her. Then he beat and raped her to unconscious. At 12:00pm when she become conscious, he was not around but all of usable and portable properties of her were taken and all other properties like books, water glass, coffee cup, electronics etc were broken and dismantled. Exactly the same thing happened to another woman who were living alone in a rented room and were running to shop after work. The student girl was Oromo and the other woman was Amhara living in Oromia and was there for job. From which ethnic group this soldier could be?

As you can understand from the above story, almost all the rapping, killings, tortures and kidnappings made by the so called Ethiopian command post are happening during the night. Regarding their manner of operation, they usually break and enter into any house they want in the midnight where people are sleeping. Once they entered, there is no any form of dialogue, instead they just start beating, raping, kidnapping and sometimes shooting. The soldiers are either racially motivated or instructed to do so that they are so hateful to the people.

In conclusion, Ethiopian command post operation time is during dark night (to hide their harshly crime.) and the tactic is they put you under gun point beat you badly to unconscious. Only after beating one to unconscious, they either rape, robe or kidnap by throwing the victim to their vehicle. Sometimes people are dying of the beatings.
Question 1: Is this the time, operation, and manner of operation (tactic) that Ethiopian parliament approved to be applied to the people?

Question 2: Can anyone, who feels the sufferings of the people, write open letter to Hailemariyam Dessalegn with copy to Oromia and Amhara regional governments to control the time and operation of these racially acting soldiers and police?

Finally, however, the night is long, the day will come!


 

Mancunian Matters: ‘We ran away from murder, torture and rape’: Oromians in Manchester UK ask Manchester to ‘stand with them’ in #OromoProtests global rally January 28, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

Oromians in Manchester UK  ask Manchester to 'stand with them' in #OromoProtests global rally, 27 January 2016

‘We ran away from murder, torture and rape’: Oromo Ethiopians ask Manchester to ‘stand with them’ in protest

 


By Dominic Thomas, Mancunian Matters, 27 January 2016

Around a hundred protesters turned out to call on the UK Government to act on and stop supporting the killing of Oromo people in Ethiopia, in Albert Square yesterday.

The protest comes after Human Rights Watch reported at least 140 people had been killed and tens of thousands arrested by government forces in anti-government protests since November.

This took place in the Oromia region, where the Government had planned to expand the control of the country’s capital in what was known as the Master Plan of Addis Ababa.

The land-grabbing led to anger from the Oromo people, who claim the plans – which have since been scrapped – are part of systematic repression of their ethnic group, and is being supported by the UK Government, which provides Ethiopia with around £300million a year in aid.

Mohammed Tusa, Chairman of the Oromian Community which organised the protest in Manchester, told MM: “We ask the UK Government to stand with Oromo people, to stand against the Ethiopian Government and to speak out.

“So far many protests have taken place in the UK – in London and in Manchester several times –but nobody is listening to us. The BBC is not listening to us, and the Government is keeping quiet.

“We respect and we love British society, but the UK Government is not acting the way we expect them to.”

He described how he and his fellow protestors had been forced to flee to the UK because of the suppression and violence people of his ethnic group faced in Ethiopia.

“Everybody here who came to Britain was forced to flee their own country,” he said.

“We love our country and would love to live there but were forced to run away from there by violations of murder, torture and rape by the Government.”

One protester claimed that he believes around 40,000 Oromo people are currently in jail, and that most opposition leaders and intellectuals have been killed by military action.

“The opposition leaders are being arrested, so freedom of expression is not there,” said one.

“The British Government has been financing the Ethiopian Government to support the poor people, but they have misused that money.

“The British Government should stand up, should listen to our voice, listen to the people and they should act. They are a superpower of the world, so they have to tell them to stop killing innocent students, mothers and farmers.”

Ethiopia has been run by the Ethiopian People’s Democratic Revolutionary Democratic Front since 1995, with the party winning all 547 seats at the last election.

A statement from the European parliament earlier this week read: “The EU, as the single largest donor, should ensure that EU development assistance is not contributing to human rights violations in Ethiopia.

“It also calls on the Ethiopian authorities to stop suppressing the free flow of information, to guarantee the rights of local civil society and media and to facilitate access throughout Ethiopia for independent journalists and human rights monitors.”


 

http://www.mancunianmatters.co.uk/content/270175429-we-ran-away-murder-torture-and-rape-oromo-ethiopians-ask-manchester-stand-them