Thousands of Political Prisoners Still in Prisons

SOCEPP (04 June 2018):   The repressive regime in Addis Abeba, convulsed by continuing mass protest, has been forced to admit it holds political prisoners and has released a thousand or so of them. The regime holds more than 45,000 political prisoners in secret and official camps (gulags) and prisons all over Ethiopia.

As part of the ongoing dupery to assure the continuity of the regime some well known journalists and political personalities have been released. Prisoners jailed in the horrible prisons of Tigrai for the last 27 years have not been released. Ms Aberash Berta, Tsegaye Gebre Medhin, Sitotaw Hussein, LemmaMakonen, Yishak Debretsion, Major Getachew Yirga, Major Asrade Beyene, captain Meketaw Azanaw, Fente Aragaw, Lieutenant Akebel Andarge, Enaru Gebre-Hiwot, Sbagasis Dori, Wondu Sirak Desta, Amha Bellete, Abebe Ainekulu, Alemayehu and Wondwessen Tesema. We can also name many others like Fithalemu Tesema, Mot Baynor, Tamrat Gizachew, Yonas Gashaw, Lieutenant Masresha Sette, Abebe Wendimagegn, Captain Behailu Gebre, journalists Berhanu Ijigu and Seifu Alemu, Lieutenant Aida Alero, Geta Asrade, Mohamed Yusuf etc…. In short, many civil law prisoners have been released while long term political prisoners are still in the dungeons. The call for the release of all political prisoners has been ignored.   The regime has ruled with an iron fist since 1991 and it is irrelevant really if it proclaims a state of emergency or lifts it. The repression  continues.

Released political prisoners have mostly confirmed the brutal and systematic torture of prisoners undertaken by the repressive regime. Beatings, hanging Highland bottles from genitals, crushing testicles, pulling out nails, sodomization by persons and batons, rape. Most of the tortured need extensive medical care which they cannot afford or get. Surprisingly, those foreign entities that denied these human rights violations and torture have not gone to Ethiopia to talk to the victims to see. The cruel regime has still refused to say a word on the long term political prisoners that it is holding or has summarily executed/disappeared. Pressure and campaign must continue for it to give account and to release all political prisoners.

SOCEPP stands apart from those who have “their prisoners” released and given up the campaign for the release of all and the full respect of human rights. It also strongly criticizes those foreign human rights bodies that had chosen to ignore the plight of the political prisoners held since 1991.