BBC-Newsnight: Ethiopian government crackdown intensifies following investigation – BBC

September 22nd, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Evidence has emerged that the Ethiopian government has launched a renewed crackdown on opposition members, less than two months after a joint investigation by the Bureau and Newsnight revealed allegations of torture, repression and the political manipulation of foreign aid.

Our report was strongly denied by representatives of President Meles Zenawi.

But now the Bureau has gathered evidence of further repression and it appears many of those being targeted are the people believed to have cooperated with our investigation.

The Ethiopian government has turned its back on human rights concerns.

According to members of the Ethiopian community in the UK many people have been arrested, some have been questioned by security forces while others have fled the country in fear.

Zelalem Tessema, spokesman from Mass Advocacy of Communities, Ethiopia told the Bureau: ’Yes, sadly there has been a crackdown by the security forces on people who have suspected to have cooperated with the programme. And certainly we’ve got reports that people have been arrested, some people have been questioned by security forces and some people have left the area in fear of what would follow.’

Further evidence
On the night of broadcast Assistant Ambassador to the UK, Abdirashid Dulane, told the Newsnight programme: ‘This is completely a report actually that lacks objectivity and also lacks evenhandedness.

‘The sources that it used are opponents of Ethiopia who have been rejected by the electorate and who have been time and again, have already shown that their allegations are unfounded.’

Related article: Ethiopia aid exposed – Voices of the tortured

The Embassy in London followed up these comments with an official statement, accusing the BBC of being unbalanced, and roundly rejecting the allegations made.

Yet just a few weeks later, at the end of August, a delegation from Amnesty was expelled from Ethiopia. They had been in the country for 12 days before their arrest, during which time Amnesty says they were under ‘constant surveillance’.

Source: The bureau of investigative journalism/Newsnight

  1. Sheger
    | #1

    The chant of the day.

    BEKA.

    BEKA belelwu
    BEKA
    Mettaseru
    BEKA
    Megedelu
    BEKA
    Torinet
    BEKA
    Zeregninet
    BEKA
    BEKA belelwu
    BEKA
    Yageresewu
    Nika

    Anileyayim
    Nika
    Bezer hayimanot
    Nika
    Egna minawukewu
    Nika
    Menor beandinet
    Nika

    BEKA bele BEKA
    BEKA

    Andante ferso
    Hiberet demisiso
    Yet lideres newu
    Fikir tekeso?

    Lijochua jeginoch
    Kitint ketewat
    Ayidiferachewu
    Kalifeleg mot.

    BEKA bele BEKA
    BEKA
    Yagersewu Nika!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Embee bele.
    Embee ayichalim
    Meles Bekitognal
    Hagerain Malem.

    Ebmee BEKA!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Ferenj Lebaw
    | #2

    Well, I admit the two different factions of the white man ( the once that want to continue funding the dictator & the once that are tired of funding by using British tax money) may have had some arguement on how the Aid money may have been misused. Obviously, the one that is protecting the dictator is trying to play blind by using words. Who said indirect aid that doesn’t go directly to the regime’s hand at the end? Covering up for the butcher? Yap.
    So the white man will keep on talking, and talking, and talking, but doing nothing, and nothing, and nothing.
    Once in a while, they would present such news so we think they really care. Didn’t the white man know how many Ethiopians were rounded up and killed since 2005? Give me a break. What is all this theatre about?

  3. anonymous
    | #3

    How much Woyannes spend on PR? Obviously, a lot.

  4. chalew
    | #4

    Ferenj Lebaw,
    With all honesty I think you need to change the nick name you are using. Beside you have a tendency to look the world in terms of whit man running the world.Dont be sync be confident and what we can do to better the life of our people or humanity.

  5. Addisboy
    | #5

    Please Please, give nothing to Ethiopians. We need to get back to the old days. We need Marxist and military junta who kills by the millions. We want to go back to the days of the junta where election and ballot box were not even dreamt. We have to go back to the days of the curfew and killings by the thousands. We need also to demolish the thousands of schools, the 22 government universities built in the last 19 years, the many hundred hospitals built in the last 18 years, the thousand kms high ways, the world class airports and the fast growing economy. I think that is what this so called diaspora oppositions want to bring back to Ethiopia. Please please, if there is any sense left in you, try to balance out and reconcile your reports to the facts on the ground. Moreover, lets not forget where we were some 20 years ago; stoneage…much worse….Thank God we are on the right truck and hope many more positive results will be achieved while you are still trying to destroy what has been achieved so far. Better contribute than simply critcising left, right and center.

  6. ahsagariw
    | #6

    ,,This election is better than a previous one !,,,well we Ethiopians get our freedom one way or the other that is inevitable but we will never forget those british colonizer done accomplice with weyane !!!!!!!!!!!Addisboy ጥያቄው ወያኔ እስካሁን ከተቀበለው እርዳታ 3 በመቶ የማይሞላውን ተጠቅሞ
    ስለሰራው ሁለት ወይም ሶስት አስፈልት መንገድ አይደለም ሰዎች በረሃብ እያለቁ የደሀውን ሃብት እየዘረፋችሁ
    በውጭ ባንክ አታከማቹ ሰብአዊ መብት አክብሩ ሰዎች በፖለቲካ አመለካከት ልዩነት መገደል መታሰር ይቁም
    ሰዎች በመረጡት የፖለቲካ ድርጅት ይተዳደሩ የገበሬውን መሬት እየነጠቃችሁ ለውጭ ባለሃብት አትቸብችቡ
    እና ብዙ ማለት ይቻላል ዳሩ ግን የጠገበ የተራበ ያለ ስለማይመስለው ዛሬ ባይታያችሁም የምትረዱበት ቀን ሩቅ እንደማይሆን ግልጽ እየሆነ መጥቷል!!!!!

  7. Atakilti
    | #7

    If this is all true, I am sure things that went wrong will be corrected. And some of this bad behavior can also be the work of few overzealous individuals.
    In the meantime, we should also understand that BBC has been suffering from a chronic ratings downturn for the last ten years. It has become a victim of the new social network media such as tweeter and facebook. People are getting hot-off-the-press news about anything that concerns them from these sources. It is also paying the price for its own blunders. It is desperately looking for sensational stories. In Ethiopia, it is looking for another Jonathan Dimbleby gatcha story. I doubt its story is from good intentions. I see them as a bunch of leftist knuckleheads. They are pissed off because their previous story about a misuse of humanitarian aid they alleged happened in the 80′s was outright discredited. They are looking for a sudden ‘I told you all so’ story. I will wait until further details comes out from 3rd parties which do not include USA bashing Amnesty International.

  8. true
    | #8

    The interviewer did good job! Wow, Britian, are losing their credibility fast. We are supposed to be grateful because they put TPLF in power and they provide them the aid (that is not beneficial) to Ethiopian people is for arms and suppression. Of course Britian doesn’t say that in public instead it is spreading propoganda that it is helping the “poor” Ethiopian people? Ethiopia does not have “donor mentality” we don’t need help but to leave us alone and live in harmony with our people. So if they want to “really help us” as they helped put them in power, we are not even asking for help but at least stop its interference in selling weapons to kill our people. It is funny they are destroying the only ancient christian nation now I guess christian vs christian (West vs Ethiopia) The good news is that, there are many many Westerners who are friends of Ethiopia, like the reporter above. The so called Andrew Mitchell just got nailed in his lies when he said everything has been investigated and there is no evidence, in fact BBC found it to be not true. The point, Britian and U.S supports the suppression of Ethiopians. So, we should go and protest at the office of the so called Andrew Mitchell and that he is caught in lie and why should we expect anything from Britian anyways?

  9. Beka! Gaye! Enough!
    | #9

    brothers and sisters this is the tip of the iceberg. in due time all the endless crimes of the TPLF mafia will be exposed. from the mass graves to the secret under ground prisons and more. thank you bbc.

  10. Development without freedom
    | #10

    Is there school where you learn how to lie? Andrew Mitchell or white weyene seems he has some kind of training.

  11. jolaima
    | #11

    What a joke! “There is hunger but there is no death.” Well,Zinawi joked about the lives of babies and motheres in Ogaden.What Ethiopians,Ogaden want is Justice,Democracy,and Bread.

    Today,they are adults and have their own children and families,but in those the 80s,they were adorable and kind and were children themselves;they didn’t have jobs,they were little ones and teens.These children got together in the neighbourhoods of their respective countries and went house to house and collected pennies and dolls and gave it to charities to be deliver to those starved chilren in Tigray.

    But, never faded away from the memory of the world community;it was years ago.The crime was well planned and was executed perfectly.Zinawian robbers disguised as Arab Merchants crossed the line back and forth and entered Ethiopia;they were not among the hungries,they were unmistakeably the profiteries.The elderlies and the young starved to death while waiting for the food they were told in the warehose was on its way to their mouth .There was sand in the warehouse,not grains.But Zinawian robbers diverted the grain ,sold it for millions and pocketed for themselves.There wasn’t grains in the warehouse,there was sand.Children and the elderlies perished while Zinawian robbers making the sale.

    Time favoured Zinawian robbers and invaded Ethiopia,it was 1991.They then quickly scattered all over and accross the country and moved into villages,towns,cities,and neighbourhoods;they broke into homes and vandalized the lives of families.Childreen became homeless.Teens were exported impubrty to Arab customers in the Middle East and babies were retailed to marketers.

    Zinawi’s cadres don’t tell the truth.Still there is drought and death.He did it again;this time in a different way. Zinawi blocked the food aid to Ogaden and left children and mothers to death.I wonder sometimes,if Zinawi or his cadres crazier?

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