Monday, July 31, 2006

Systematic harassment of the prisoners

TPLF is increasing its maltreatment of the jailed CUDP leaders, journalists and social justice advocates. With the court hearing their case to have a summer recess soon and with the outside world giving less and less attention, the prisoners fear the worst. The signs indicate that their fear is not out of reality. Recently when a usual conflict occurred between other prisoners, the prison security officers gathered all the prisoners and told them that the persistent prison conflicts were occurring because of the CUDP leaders. In a clear attempt to instigate violence on the CUDP prisoners, one officer in particular said that other prisoners should watch out the CUDP leaders who caused the death of hundreds. Pro-TPLF police officers have also upped their verbal harassment. They were sometimes heard calling the prisoners "Traitors who sold Ethiopia to Somalia."
Those who had come from the countryside to visit the prisoners used to have a right of visitation on weekdays. Since last week, this right had been cancelled. Journalist Eskinder Nega was also transferred to Kerchelle last Thursday. His wife, Serkalem Fasil, remained in Kaliti. The couples used to see each other(without touching each other) on Weekends. The transfer of Eskinder has made that impossible. Serkalem is now suffering from sever depression as she left her unhealthy new baby to her mother and the prison authorities denied her of an opportunity to see her husband.
Prison sources said that all these are part of a systematic attempt to hurt the prisoners who are still showing incredible defiance and unbendable spirit.


Anonymous said...

Hello EZ

While it is good to know what the gangs of killers under Meles are always up to, it is at the same time sad the people of Ethiopia are taking all this destruction with a stride. They need to rise to the occasion and say no more to a killer regime. They are the only ones who can make a lasting change to the current situation. Sadly enough we seem to have an endless capacity to take in hardship and callously accept a harrowing life under a criminal dictatorship is better than demanding our God given right to live under liberty. The Diaspora should continue with their effort, they are commendable, but those who are inside the land itself should be ready to pay whatever is needed to live in freedom. I am just no so sure how long their silence and endurance can continue. “Yebase Atamta” is an Ethiopian bottomless pit where what just happened, no matter how harrowing is not as bad as what could happen, and so Meles keeps on pushing all the pain and suffering he can manage to give, and the people are telling him he can dish as much as he wants as they are certain it could be worse, and so it continues ad infinitum.

Anonymous said...

Have any of you chatterboxes ever endured prison life during Derg? Do you even know how many youngsters made it through the torture chambers of Maikelawi. Let me tell you as a survivir, this is a walk in the park compared to Derg. We have seen worse.

The CUD leaders do not deserve to be in jail not because jail is no happy camp. They need to be free because they are inocent. You morons do not get it.

Either plan a jail break or plead to the good heart of Meles and the west or simply shut up.

" Lead, follow or get out of the way" Lee Iacoca.

Anonymous said...


I appreciate your focus on "simply relaying news". However: As one of the few (stunningly and sadly enough, indeed few) moral voices -- courageous, daring, and yet without debilitating ego -- I appeal to you to go beyond merely relaying news, to urging and appealing to your readers to take specific action.

Action can range from writing one's congressman, writing the press, sending money to the families of the prisoners etc. to more courageous and demanding actions.

If we didn't have an action/leadership vacuum I wouldn't ask of you to go beyond your news-relaying duties. But given a gaping vacuum, I plead with you to include, with every or with most postings, a particular call to take concrete action, action of the type you can stand behind. Your contribution to the cause would be drastically multiplied with very little additional effort on your part.

Anonymous said...

I don\'t see the moral of comparing EPRDF\'s prisons to a dergue. EPRDF threw thosands of people in campslike Dedesa where torture was practiced in other ways.Haven\'t you read stories of people losing half their wieght in a week, contracting serious diesease. The torture chambers of Maekelawi are still working. The EPRDF is not torturing(in the Maekelawi way) the Berhanu Negas as they are the only negotiating card it has. People are failing to take drastic ations vis-a-vis the strugghle against the government because they fear the worst would happen on their leaders. So why torture? Put them in overcrowded, unventilated cells for long time and hurt them and hurth them seriously

ethio-Zagol said...

Dear Inde Hewan:
thanks for your suggestion. I haven't ventured into demanding specific actions as I felt there are enough organizations(political parties, advocacy groups etc) who can coordinate that. I thought because I have an advantage of being in Ethiopia and closer to political information, I would put out the news and the orgnaizations would use them for their works.
I will follow up your suggestion and see what I can do.

Anonymous said...

how come you and ethiopian politics are the only ones talking about lidetu visiting US?
did you guys make it up?

Anonymous said...


I think it would have been more prudent if you have checked with your base first before flapping your gums at ethio-zagol. Aiga Forum posted this information a couple of days ago. The link to Aiga Forum is not included here. I am sure you will be able to navigate your way to the site.

Thanks EZ for all the good work you are doing.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ethio-Zagol,

You are absolutely right that your comparative advantage is information provision, and that it actually would have been incumbent on groups abroad to mobilise for action. However, to be effective in leveraging people action, it takes (a) giving action mobilisation high priority and attention (not just debate and writing opinion pieces), and (b) having the moral standing and respect of the community.

You know well about the shortage of both (a) and (b) in the democracy movement, I don't have to tell you about it. I turned to you because you have (b), and called on you to consider (a).

Thanks for considering this.

Nimrod Minilik said...

I know Alemayehu Zemedekun very well. Insofar as my understanding is concerned, Alemayehu is not like the one that is portrayed in your article. He is ardent supporter of Woyane. He was the one who, despite a contrary legal opinion from fellow lawyers, fiercely sued the leaders of the Free Press. He has a very strong distaste both for the leaders of KINIJIT and the Free Press. I can feel why Alemayehu decided the way he decided now. Almost the whole employees of the Ministry of Justice, including the prosecutors, are supporters of KINIJIT. Knowing this, even Woyane brought lawyers from other organizations that will prepare the criminal suit against the KINIJIT leaders and thereby represent it in the court. Only one prosecutor from the Ministry of Justice participated in such farce trial. Because of his negative attitudes with regard to the leaders of KINIJIT and the free press, Alemayhu is one of the most detested person in the ministry. No one in the Ministry of Justice likes to work with him. His alternative: either continue working for Woyane and thereby languish psychologically, or leave the country. He has chosen the latter alternative. But this does not put him in the opposition camp, especially in the camp that likes to see positive change in the country. What matters is his conviction and his distaste for the leaders of KINIJIT and the Free Press.