It was Replica Iran. Eight "terrorists" detained in secret prisons in Ethiopia (some referred to them as TPLF’s Guantanmo) were paraded on ETV yesterday. The “terrorists” in broken English told the world that their captures were humane; and provided them with clothing and meals of their own choice. The claimed Ethiopian jail guards were friendly, and like brothers to the jailed. What a moving story!
When Iran paraded captured sailors from the British Royal Navy on state TV, Britain and America hastily condemned the act. We will see how they will act now. But for me that is beside the point. Forceful videotaping and recording of prisoners by Ethiopian authorities is a standard procedure in the county. What might shock the world is normal behavior in Ethiopia. We have seen that with our political prisoners.
Americans know about that and the practices of severe torture in Ethiopia. And I believe it is this “comparative advantage” of our system that they tried to exploit before the story was reported by the media. It is common knowledge that Americans send “terror” suspects to countries where there is widespread torture. They want others to do their dirty work. So is it fair for the media to jump on the back of the Ethiopian government? Are the prisoners in Ethiopia’s jails without the recognition of the American government?
Meles has been given the license to do whatever he wants. He flouts rules of international behavior at will. He kills thousands in Ethiopia and Somalia and tortures political prisoners in his own country without eyebrows raised in the part of the world which calls itself the international community (Intcom in the words of Noam Chomsky). That is not because they think his other proxy works outweigh his thuggery. No, no, no; that is not the reason. They themselves actively encourage the thuggery. That is it. No pulling punches. If the media believe illegally detaining and torturing “terror” suspects in Ethiopia is a story worth reporting and human rights groups think it is affront to the rights of man, both should seek more answers at Shiro Meda* and in Washington than Arat Kilo.
*Shiro Meda is where the US embassy is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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