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Ethiopia Not Closing rather digitizing Its Jail

By Dinberu Degnetu

Various news agencies are reporting that the Ethiopian Government on Friday April 6, 2018 announced it had closed its notorious detention center. What actually happening is the government rather expanding and moving the facility to a new location. It is an effort by the Government to use this good looking news to deter HR 128 from coming to the floor of the American Congress and to buy time to grow out stronger after completely crushing the peoples protest against cruel governance. The Ethiopian Government is much known for its deceptive words. It plants bombs and claim lives so that it gets support of the western nations in arresting innocent citzens blaming them for a terrorist act.

The notorious detention center which the Government wants to get credit for closing is known as ‘Maekelawi’. It is located a couple of blocks away from the center of the capital city. Many elites and intellectuals, that poor country needs a lot from, have been kept for decades, tortured and killed in this jail. These victims have never been prisoners of war. They have never been members of terrorist organizations. They have never been members of Al Shebab or Alka Ida. They are and have been accused of thinking of alternatives solutions for the country’s political problems other than the people in power thinking. They demanded their and /or the people participation in government positions. Or they are brave journalists who produced articles the government has not been happy about.

The victims are mostly from two ethnic groups Oromo and Amhara of which together represent more than 60% of the Ethiopian population. The 99% of the people making the torture are members of the ruling party TPLF (Tigrean People Liberation Front). Tigrean People represent about 6% of the total population of Ethiopia. Most of people being tortured are for fabricated accusations and are from different professions: priests, students, businessmen, journalists, political party members, women, underage kids, mothers and fathers but almost all of them either Oromo or Amhara.

The Ethiopian government does not accept doing anything wrong saying even America who own a matured democratic system is torturing in Guantanamo.

There is a difference. I am not saying what is done in Guantanamo is right but there is a difference:

  1. Americans are committing tortures on POW; TPLF’s torturers are doing it on fellow innocent citizens though they are from different ethnicity.
  2. America is torturing till a prisoner talks something the interrogator believes the prisoner is hiding. This helped America locate Bin Laden and kill hilm. The interrogator uses scientific vetting techniques before torturing. The TPLF’s torturers do not have any scientific vetting techniques and do not stop sometimes till it ends by the death or pass out of the prisoner or the torturer tires.
  3. America is not allowing torture on its soil. Maekelawi is in the center of the capital City of Ethiopia. As recently exposed by one of the prisoners before court, higher officials of the governments are participating in torturing on a part time basis.
  4. The worst torture technique America practicing is waterboarding. The TPLF’s torturers do many too cruel sort of torturing methods intentionally to inflict permanent injuries or death.

A witness, a journalist whom once tortured and was in the jail, talked to the VOA Amharic Program in the interview he made on April 6, 2018 ‘They plucked all the 20 nails off Abebe Kasse fingers and toes. They did not stop there. The next morning as soon as Abebe awakes start stabbing the sore on the fingers with sticks till the guy passing out again. I have blood soaked nails of him with me so that I put in the museum when this government goes away. They hanged a water bottle carrying two litters of water on his genitals and swing the bottle with their hands left and right and never stop till he passes out. Now Abebe cannot move without support. Has pain during urination. Abebe is castrated now and moved to the new prison.’

Another young lady interviewed the same day by the same journalist accused for being member of OLF which she totally denies said: ‘I was taken to a room blind folded. I did not know the time, even whether it was daytime or night since I was left in a complete dark room for days. When they take off the piece of cloth from my eyes there were eight men standing around me. They asked me to tell them why I was there. I could not tell them because I did not know. I was told to take off all my clothes. They took all my closes off and was naked when they hanged me on a structure looks a cross and start beating me with a piece of wire. When I waked up I was in my cell covered with dark. I was barely able to move my body”

  1. The American interrogators are cultured and grown up in the democratic environment as ordinary citizen and attended schools. TPLF torturers are totally illiterates except the training they got how to shoot and kill people. Above all the bandits are told since child hood Amhara and Oromo ethnic origins are totally natural enemies to them and the people Tigrea.

During the twenty seven years, the current government stayed on power, tens of thousands are believed to be dead and hundred thousand estimated to be jailed. To everyone surprise not a single person higher official or subordinates has been accounted for the crimes committed.

What the most heart breaking to the people of Ethiopia and families of the prisoners is that the Ethiopian Government is supported by the money coming from the civilized citizen of North American nations and European Union countries. The vehicles and sniper rifles manufactured in America are used to massacre innocent Ethiopians indiscriminately on the streets of Ethiopia. The British Government is giving training and materials to the Federal Police force of Ethiopia. Why doesn’t the Marshal law applied to help democratize Europe is not offered to Africa. May the race be a factor?


Dinberu Degnetu

April 7, 2018



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