Ethiopia: Closure of “torture chamber” could signal new chapter for human rights

Ethiopia: Closure of “torture chamber” could signal new chapter for human rights


(amnesty) —Responding to an announcement by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn that all political prisoners will be released and a notorious detention centre closed, Fisseha Tekle, Ethiopia Researcher at Amnesty International, said:

“Today’s announcement could signal the end of an era of bloody repression in Ethiopia. For prisoners who have spent years incarcerated on politically motivated and trumped-up charges, this is long overdue.

“Most have been detained solely for peacefully exercising their human rights, and should never have been in jail in the first place. We are calling on the Ethiopian authorities to implement today’s decision as quickly as possible by immediately and unconditionally releasing them. The authorities should also repeal or substantially amend the repressive laws under which they were imprisoned, including the draconian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.

“While plans to close the notorious Maekelawi detention centre are welcome, the closure must not be used to whitewash the horrifying events that have taken place there. For years, Maekelawi has essentially functioned as a torture chamber, used by the Ethiopian authorities to brutally interrogate anybody who dares to dissent including peaceful protestors, journalists and opposition figures.

“A new chapter for human rights will only be possible if all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment are effectively investigated and those responsible brought to justice. We are also calling for investigations into dozens of enforced disappearances that have taken place since 1991 – it is not enough to release some peaceful dissenters while the fate of many others remains unknown.”

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1 Comment

  1. Too little, too late for the state terrorists who have lost all credibility from Ethiopians.
    We thank DONALD TRUMP, the best and finest president of the USA for siding with the people of Ethiopia!
    Barack Obama insulted USA and Ethiopians by providing diplomatic, political, financial, and military support to the terrorist regime. The lesson from the past 27 years shows that the regime can never be trusted. They are already turning many other prisons into Maikelawi while announcing closure of the most notorious one.
    They are arresting, murdering, raping and displacing hudreds of thousands of innocent citizens while announcing release of political prisoners. I consider this announcement only a means to buy more time, not a real change of the apartheid and fascist policy of TPLF.
    No amount of political gambling can save this regime from crumbling. If they are sincere, they must immediately and unconditionally resign and submit power to the people. The generals who committed and are committing mass genocide killing thousands of innocent Oromo children and students are still walking free. Ethiopinas must step up all pressure on the regime until it collapses and they gain their freedom to freely elect their leaders.

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