20 April 2018: The regime in Addis Abeba has mocked at the persistent and popular demand to release ALL political prisoners in Ethiopia. Conservative estimate of Ethiopian political prisoners has put the figure at least 45,000.
The regime released a few political prisoners and made use of this to appear as if ALL have been released. Sadly, those human rights bodies who should have known of its ploy went along with it. It should be remembered that since the early nineties the regime has denied it was holding even one political prisoner captive. SOCEPP had been calling for the release of Tsegaye Gebre Medhin, Sitotaw Hussein, Belete Amha, sister Aberash Berta, Lemma Makonen, Yishak Debre Tsion, Wondu Sirak Desta, trade unioniust Abebe Ainekulu, Hagos Bezabih, journalist Berhanu Ijigu, Kebede Tesfaye, Lt.Adugna, Tamrat Gizachew, Desalegn Amsalu, Eyoba Tekabe, Demissie Tesfaye, Mot Baynor, Getachew Abebe and many others. Most of these are considered “disappeared” since 1993.
The regime has underground prison holes in most parts of Tigrai, concentration camps in Bir Sheleko, Zwai, the deserts of Tolaye, Dedeisa, an secret (ghost prisons) in Addis Abeba (old airport area, Bole area etc..). It has refused to allow prison observatory bodies to visit any of these prisons. It has made a hue and cry over its closing of the notorious Makelawi detention and torture center in Addis Abeba. The site of this notorious prison, where many political detainees have been killed by the previous and this regime should actually been turned into a museum. The closing is a hollow gesture when we note that the prisoners have not been released, the torturers reassigned and torture being still routine all over the many other Makeelawis in Ethiopia. Maekelawi is a prime property (Mesfin Harar Road) coveted by the land grabbers of the regime. In short, the regime has still refused to release or account on the whereabouts of thousands of political prisoners. A serious and genuine intention to bring change should begin with the release of ALL political prisoners, the end of the gross violation of human rights and bringing to justice all those have committed crimes against political prisoners. Actually, using the State of Emergency, the regime has detained and tortured many like the young woman Emebet Abera in Wolkite. The prisons are still full.
Demand the release of all political prisoners in Ethiopia!!