Horrendous atrocities in Ethiopian prisons – By Assefa Negash (MD)

December 26th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

It is while I am on vacation in a county located thousands of kilometres from my second home country, Holland where I live as exile that I read this horrendous account of the atrocities perpetrated on fellow Ethiopians on account of their ethnicity. PDF

It is while I am on vacation in a county located thousands of kilometres from my second home country, Holland where I live as exile that I read this horrendous account of the atrocities perpetrated on fellow Ethiopians on account of their ethnicity. PDF

  1. Desideratum
    | #1

    It is odd that there are no comments about this important piece which the writer,rightly outraged by the egregious crimes and atrocities of the Meles regime,took time and spent much labour to translate from Amharic into a number of European languages with the view to sensitize the wider public.

    In my view,no other deed of the regime more graphically exposes its cruelty,shortsightedness and illegitimacy than its barbaric treatment of those who it claims are trying to ‘subvert its constitutional arrangement’.

    I served a two years prison term at the notorious Maekelawi during the late seventies at the height of the Dergue’s terror.
    Like the other hundreds of inmates in the extremely crowded prison,I received repeated beatings and torture by the sadistic Dergue’s torturers one whom was a veritable psychotic man who happened to be of Tigrayan origin by the name Libanos.

    Reading Assefa’s piece brings back to me floods of traumatic often repressed memories which I wrestled with for years.

    As I knew it then,Maekelawi,located at the heart of Addis city,was a grey foreboding rectangular narrow building with brick walls and roof comprising eleven small cells.

    The inmates kraaled in those 4×4 sq meters cells were of various backgrounds including ‘Ashatregna’ merchants,members of TPLF, EPRP,EDU,EPLF,Meison and other harmless and poor souls with no political background.
    Two cells stood different from the others-number one and six.
    Cell one was meant for only women prisoners but effectively housed teenage girls and cell six was inhabited by our EPRP HEROES who, the torturers severely and repeatedly tortured but could not break their will and therefore earmarked them for eventual elimination.

    I was not one of those heroes.I was one of the broken ones.
    Like it is being done now under TPLF,the Dergue’s torture at that ghastly place was then carried out in a small dark torture chamber where my hands were tied behind me,a blood soaked garment ball was gagged into my mouth and my body was tied to a rope while hanging in mid air so that the soles of my foot were exposed for the torturer to beat and inflict maximum pain using his Falakas.

    As a result,I made the guilty and painful confession that I was an EPRP member and gave the torturer the’ valuable’ information about who were my comrades who ‘worked’ with me and at what level I functioned in the hierarchy of the Youth League after which I was dumped in cell number nine.
    I painfully remember tottering into my cell,escorted by two wardens, with completely battered toes and mangled soles of feet leaving behind me bloody footprints which did not excite any noticeable reaction by the other inmates.
    What triggered great excitement in that cavernous place was some other event.
    This was the time that every one was told to go inside his/her respective cell,no soul was allowed to be seen outside those cells and the wardens came,clicking their Klashinkovsks,locked us behind in those iron bars.They then,amidst the deathly and eerie silence,barked the names of our fellow inmates to be TAKEN AWAY AND NEVER TO COME BACK AGAIN.
    The silence was mightily shattered if the inmates taken to be executed were from cell number six.
    These were not meek and silent lambs dragged to their slaughter.
    Each one of them stormed out of their cell and courageously went on to face their death valiantly shouting their slogans,’Death to the Dergue!Death to fascism! Long live to the struggle of our people!’ much to the chagrin of their jailers.

    Ultimately and true to the slogans of those martyrs,the Dergue died.
    THAT REGIME DIED BECAUSE IT WAS A CRUEL REGIME.
    THE TPLF REGIME,WHICH SHOULD HAVE DEMOLISHED MAEKELAWI-THE NOTORIOUS TORTURE CENTRE-AND CONVERTED IT INTO A MUSEUM PIECE,HAS INHERITED THE LEGACY AND IS NOW PERPETUATING THE SAME CRUELTY.

    LIKE ITS PREDECESSING DERGUE,TPLF WILL ALSO ONE DAY DIE OF ITS OWN CRUELTY.

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