The arrest and torture of young Kinijit supporters in Addis Ababa is intensifying. Endalkachew Melese, 23, a second year IT student at the Softnet College was arrested by Plain-clothed security officers near Adwa Square in Piassa on December 15, 2006.
Tortured and abused at Maekelawi, he had appeared four times before the ad hoc remand court at Mexico Square. The court, which is designated to look into issues relating to political opposition, had remanded him in custody on all occasions. His last appearance was this morning.
Endalkachew was an election observer for Kinijit in Woreda 19, kebele 56. After his arrest, he was held incommunicado for three days before his family tracked him. They were allowed to deliver food but were banned from communicating with him. Police told the court that Endalkachew was suspected of "cooperating with the Patriotic Front to stir up unrest in Addis Ababa". Forty-two supporters of Kinijit are held at Maekelawi, accused of the same crime as Endalkachew.
Zenebe Tadesse, 34, married with three children is one of the detainees. Police officers took him from the premise of Matador Tyre where he worked as a security guard on the day Endalkachew was arrested. Today he appeared before the remand court with his shoulders obscenely swollen from severe torture. He told family and friends that several times, he had been kicked to the ground and different policemen had stood on his neck causing stern pain. "I will die in few days," he was heard saying.
Hirut Kifle and Fantaye Beyene are also suffering from torture at Maekelawi, according to sources. Another individual, whose name sources said was Daniel, has been detained in the same prison, accused of trying to foment dissension in the city. He is registered as a resident of the United States.
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- ▼ January (10)