Ethiopia: The Endless Violence against Oromo Nationals

Fear of Torture

HRLHA Appeal and Urgent Action

July 2012

An end to the years of harassments and intimidations through arbitrary arrests, indefinite detentions, kidnappings and disappearances, etc. not yet in sight, many Oromo nationals in Oromia Regional State have been arrested and detained in this month of July 2012.

According to HRLHA correspondents in the Country, the major target areas of this most recent government-sponsored violence include the Capital, Addis Ababa, Dambi Dollo of Anfillo District in Western Oromia, Dire Dawa in Eastern Oromia, and Moyal of Borana Zone in Southern Oromia. Although it has been difficult to identify everyone by their names, HRLHA correspondents have confirmed that a lot of Oromos have been arrested and detained in the Capital City of Addis Ababa during the first two weeks of this month of July. Among them was Mr. Hunduma Bantii, an employee with Save the Children (NGO), who was picked up from his office on July 12, 2012 and taken to an unknown destination.

Out of other scores of Oromos arrested and detained in Dambi Dollo District, in Western Oromia, HRLHA reporters have been able to obtain the names of the following thirteen victims:

  1. Mr. Batii Tilahun (Peasant)
  2. Mr Garoma Hambisa (peasant)
  3. Mr. Barsisa Ijigu Fromisa(peasant)
  4. Mr. Geche Aragga (peasant)
  5. Mr. Mosisa Abdisa (peasant)
  6. Mrs. Thehayi Abiyot, (Teacher)
  7. Mr. Bula Tariku (peasant)
  8. Mr. Samua’el Lema (peasant)
  9. Mr. Hika Abdela, (peasant)
  10. Mr. siraji Bogino (peasant)
  11. Mr.Bobo Idossa (peasant)
  12. Mr. Getahun Shiferaw (peasant) and
  13.  Mrs. Gifti Surafi’el.

These Oromo nationals, all of whom are farmers, have been arrested detained arbitrarily on alleged political grounds since the 9th of July, 2012; and none of them have been able to communicate with families and/or friends since then.

Mr.Abdul Feta Yusuf, MrMustafa Kamal Mumme and Mr. Bonaya Kalil were among the Oromo detainees from Dire Dawa locality in Eastern Oromia in a separate extra-judicial action jointly taken by members of the Federal Army and Regional Police on July 11, 2012. All of them were taken to the Ma’ikelawi Central Investigation Office, about 550 kilometers away from their hometown of Dire Dawa, are believed to have been kept in solitarily confinement with the risk of being subjected to torture.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa has also received a report from its correspondents in Borana Zone, South of Oromia, that seven young Oromo nationals have been arrested in the first week of July 2012 in the border town of Moyale up on their arrival from the Capital Finfine/Addis Ababa. They are:

NoNameSexAgeLevel of Education
1Alemu WaqjiraM 22Grade 10
2Yohanis QadidaM23Grade 9
3Tadele DhinsaM19Grade 9
4Kumilacho Sima GememoM2312+2
5Abdisa MosisaM2312+2
6Zalalem abashuM--
7Mohamed Negassa TuchoM25Grade 11

 

Their whereabouts are not known since their arrest, although they are believed to have been taken back to the capital city, and held in solitary confinement in Maikelawi detention center.

Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its deep concern over the safety and well-being of these Oromo nationals who have been picked up arbitrarily from different places at different times and are being held at unknown detention centers. The Ethiopian government has a well-documented record of gross and flagrant violations of human rights, including the torturing of its own citizens who were suspected of supporting, sympathizing with and/or being members of the opposition political organizations. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuses committed against individuals in Ethiopian official prisons and other secret detention centers.

HRLHA calls upon governments of the West, all local, regional and international human rights agencies to join hands and demand the immediate halt of such kinds of extra-judicial actions against one’s own citizens, and release the detainees without any preconditions.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its concerned officials as swiftly as possible, in English, Ahmaric, or your own language expressing:

  • concern regarding the apprehension and fear of torture of the citizens who are being held in different detention centers including the infamous Ma’ikelawi Central Investigation Office; and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;
  • urging the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that these detainees would be treated in accordance with the regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners, and  to disclose the whereabouts of the detainees; and
  • Your concerns to diplomatic representatives in Ethiopia who are accredited to your country.

Office  of Prime Minister of Ethiopia
P.O.Box – 1031, Addis Ababa
Telephone – +251 155 20 44; +251 111 32 41
Fax – +251 155 20 30 , +251 1552020

His Excellency Birhan Hailu –Min. of Justice
PO Box 1370, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Fax: +251 11 5517775; +251 11 5520874 Email: ministry-justice@telecom.net.et

CC

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

United Nations Office at Geneva 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland Fax: + 41 22 917 9022 (particularly for urgent matters) E-mail: tb-petitions@ohchr.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

African Commission on Human and Peoples‘ Rights (ACHPR)

48 Kairaba Avenue, P.O.Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia.

Tel: (220) 4392 962 , 4372070, 4377721 – 23 Fax: (220) 4390 764
E-mail: achpr@achpr.org
Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
Council of Europe

F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, FRANCE

+ 33 (0)3 88 41 34 21
+ 33 (0)3 90 21 50 53

Contact us by email

 U.S. Department of State

Tom Fcansky – Foreign Affairs Officer

Email;-TOfcansky@aol.com>Washington, D.C. 20037

Tel: +1-202-261-8009

Fax: +1-202-261-8197

Amnesty International – London

Tom Gibson

Telephone: +44-20-74135500

Fax number: +44-20-79561157

Email;- TGibson@amnesty.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Human Rights Watch – New York,

Leslie Lefkow

lefkowl@hrw.org; rawlenb@hrw.org

Tel: +1-212-290-4700

Fax:+1-212-736-1300 Email: hrwnyc@hrw.org