Anti-Counter-Terrorism – Zenawi’s Terrorism Law Terrorism Undefined By Kibru Demeke

October 4th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Let me begin with facts about terrorism and its definition and please bear with me with the following few paragraphs as you probably all know about it. However I would like to bring together and portray a few different perspectives of terrorism before I come down to Meles Zenawi’s (more…)

Let me begin with facts about terrorism and its definition and please bear with me with the following few paragraphs as you probably all know about it. However I would like to bring together and portray a few different perspectives of terrorism before I come down to Meles Zenawi’s (Prime Minister of the Ethiopian regime) terrorism outlook and law.

Terrorism came from the French word terrorisme which in turn derives from the Latin verb terreō meaning “I frighten”.

Terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition. However, according to the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia, common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for a religious, political or ideological goal, and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (civilians).

The word “terrorism” is politically and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. Studies have found over 100 definitions of “terrorism”. The concept of terrorism may itself be controversial as it is often used by state authorities (and individuals with access to state support) to delegitimize political or other opponents, and potentially legitimize the state’s own use of armed force against opponents (such use of force may itself be described as “terror” by opponents of the state).

The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) of the US America as well admits the absence of a single, universally accepted, definition of terrorism. FBI defines it as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

The FBI goes on defining a terrorist-related activity or incident as a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, adopted unanimously on September 28, 2001, is a counter-terrorism measure passed following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. The resolution was adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, and is therefore binding on all UN member states. The resolution aimed to place barriers on the movement, organization and fund-raising activities of terrorist groups. UN member states were encouraged to share their intelligence on terrorist groups in order to assist in combating international terrorism. The resolution also calls on all states to adjust their national laws so that they can ratify all of the existing international conventions on terrorism. It stated that all States “should also ensure that terrorist acts are established as serious criminal offences in domestic laws and regulations and that the seriousness of such acts is duly reflected in sentences served.” However, the resolution failed to define ‘Terrorism’, and the working group initially only added Al-Qaida and the Taliban regime of Afghanistan on the sanctions list. This also entailed the possibility that authoritarian regimes could label even non-violent activities as terrorist acts, and thus infringing upon basic human rights.

State terrorism: As with “terrorism” the concept of “state terrorism” is controversial. The Chairman of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee has stated that the Committee was conscious of 12 international Conventions on the subject, and none of them referred to State terrorism, which was not an international legal concept. If States abused their power, they should be judged against international conventions dealing with war crimes, international human rights and international humanitarian law. Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that it is “time to set aside debates on so-called ‘state terrorism’. The use of force by states is already thoroughly regulated under international law.” However, he also made clear that, “regardless of the differences between governments on the question of definition of terrorism, what is clear and what we can all agree on is any deliberate attack on innocent civilians, regardless of one’s cause, is unacceptable and fits into the definition of terrorism.”

Meles’ Law and its dire need

By the time the 59.8% Zenawi dominated parliament is in dire urgency to pass the draft “Anti-Terrorism Proclamation” on the 28th of August 2009, it has been eight years since the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 unanimously adopted a counter-terrorism measure and called on all member states to ensure that terrorist acts are established as serious criminal offences in their domestic laws and regulations. Where was Zenawi’s TPLF/EPRDF for the last 8 solid years? Wasn’t it necessary to establish that particular law especially following the 9-11 attacks against the United States when the Horn has come under increased scrutiny as a strategic focal point in the war against terrorism, while Ethiopia was considered an important ally for the war against terror? Why the need now? Of course, by that fateful time, Ethiopian National Election 2010 was just around the corner.
The extremely vague and ambiguous anti-terrorism law of the Ethiopian regime served its purpose well beyond its expectation when the results of the 2010 election’s staggering world record of 99.63% (534 seats) TPLF/EPRDF swept away all the seats leaving merely 2 seats for opposition contestants.

However, speaking of legislations aiding as tools for election wining, it would be unenlightening not to mention the amended Civil Society Law that basically barred both foreign and Ethiopian organizations that receive more than 10 percent of their funding from abroad from undertaking any activities in human rights, gender equality, children’s rights, disabled persons’ rights, conflict resolution and strengthening judicial practices and law enforcement, among related activities. The law would also exclude groups that are largely funded by Ethiopians living in the Diaspora from working on these issues. The draconian Press Law that effectively highly restricts the activities of the free press, which has been serving as an effective mechanism for the development of democracy in the country and infringes upon peoples’ constitutional rights of access to information as well as the right to freedom of expression. Not to mention the tricky Ethiopian Election Code of Conduct Law that crippled the lawful campaigning scope of opposition political parties. All these draft proclamations were passed into law well before Election 2010. What a preemptive preparation! The Human Rights Watch denounced all these laws.

What did the “Anti-Terrorism” law service the Ethiopian ruling junta and disservice the Ethiopian People is a reasonable question one must ask? The draft proclamation (that later on passed into law on August 28 2009) contained numerous provisions that fundamentally contravened human rights guaranteed by Ethiopia’s constitution and international law. Only one of those provisions has been substantively revised, leaving the current draft law dangerously broad and inimical to fundamental human rights. The draft law is premised on an extremely broad and ambiguous definition of terrorist activity that could permit the government to repress a wide range of internationally protected freedoms, and contains provisions that undermine fundamental due process rights. The law could provide the Ethiopian government with a potent instrument to crack down on political dissent, including peaceful political demonstrations and public criticisms of government policy that are deemed supportive of armed opposition activity. It would permit long-term imprisonment and even the death penalty for “crimes” that bear no resemblance, under any credible definition, to terrorism. It would in certain cases deprive defendants of the right to be presumed innocent, and of protections against use of evidence obtained through torture.

For example, the ambiguous law criminalizes acts of peaceful political rally in “disruption of public services.” A non-violent march that blocked traffic, protestors who damaged a police car, or a government building window, could qualify as “terrorist act” subjecting protestors from 15 years to life to prison up to death penalty. An individual need only “threaten to commit” the above acts to be put to life in prison or death. Those providing “moral support or … advice” or “providing or making available any property in any manner” to an individual accused of a terrorist act: someone who advised, or even just offered water and food to a political protester might simply find themselves charged with terrorism. “Possession of property that a person has reason to know” are proceeds of terrorism: someone who held a sign used in a non-violent political protest could be found guilty of possession of property used to commit a terrorist act.

According to the clause “Whosoever publishes or causes the publication of a statement that is likely to be understood by some or all of the members of the public to whom it is published as a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to them to the commission or preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism,” A journalist interviewing an opposition politician or a supporter of an armed opposition group could be deemed to be “encouraging” terrorism merely by publicizing the views of the interviewee and is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from10 to 20 years. The inclusion of references to “publishing” is also aimed at crippling the media.

The extensive power of police to arrest, sudden search, and covert search without judicial oversight if a police officer has a “reasonable suspicion that a terrorist act will be committed,” gives police unlimited power to search citizens, places or seize and/or destroy property or restrict movement. Also intelligence personnel are empowered to intercept any kind of communication enter premise and install information capturing devices. Those who fail to cooperate police on these occasions face 10 years imprisonment. Police is granted full authority to detain without charge to a maximum of 4 months if the police “reasonably suspects” that a person is committing or has committed a “terrorist act.” Police has the power to violate a person’s bodily integrity that is “suspected of acts of terrorism” to give samples of hand writing, hair, voice, finger print, photograph, blood, saliva and other body fluids, for investigation. Moreover, police may order the suspect to undergo medical test. If the suspect is not willing for the test, the police may use necessary and reasonable force to take samples.

The law allows official intelligence evidences without disclosing the source (which could be torture), hearsay or indirect evidences without any limitation as well as confessions admissible without a restriction on the use of statements made under torture.

A person can be imprisoned from 3 to 10 years for failing to provide information or evidence that may assist to prevent terrorist act before its commission, or for knowingly providing false information about a terrorist act, or “believing that the information is false.” This puts citizens in an impossible position: On the one hand they could be charged with a crime for providing information that turns out to be false. On the other hand, they could be convicted of a crime for failing to provide information.

The unpopular Anti-Terrorism Law of Ethiopia has continued as a weapon to criminalize dissent and jail opposition political leaders and supporters as well as independent journalists arbitrarily. In the wake of the Arab Spring, the theatre continues in the parliament by designating three opposition parties as terrorist organizations – two of them armed struggle forces, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), and Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy – an overseas-based (banned in Ethiopia) political organization that is led by the widely popular former CUD leader and Addis Ababa Mayor-elect Dr. Berhanu Nega. What followed next is a mass arrest of members, affiliates and supporters of the EPRDF/TPLF designated “terrorist” organizations. Only in the past four months 6 renowned journalists including two Swedish citizens that are critics of the regime and its policies are detained with charges of terrorism linking them with Ginbot 7. Not mentioning the 29 OLF linked citizens that are arrested with charges of “terror plot.” The number of ordinary citizens those are in jail with charges of terrorism in the infamous Maekelawi interrogation center and elsewhere in brutal detention centers in Ethiopia is countless.

The Ethiopian Awakening re-inspired by the Arab Spring has now scared Zenawi and Co to death. Zenawi hates to see the Ethiopian people exposed to what is going on in North Africa and the Middle East. Inevitably, a number of social networking groups on Face book and Twitter as well as several countless online blogs are now connecting the voiceless Ethiopian people, particularly the youth, and serving as more than a vent for their voice suffocated under the draconian media law and a shameless state monopoly of Radio and a single TV station which tirelessly air out only government and party propaganda. Thanks for satellite technology that brings the Arab Spring news coverage live and in full i.e. Aljazeera and ESAT the first independent Ethiopian Satellite TV station available worldwide. Also different independent and opposition group radios transmitting in different varieties of frequencies are giving extra task to the ruling junta – regularly monitoring and jamming frequencies. China is believed to being instrumental in the website blocking and frequency/signal jamming job that the regime has now taken seriously and as one regular task.

Anti-Counter-Terrorism: In the last four months only six independent journalists including two Swedish citizens are jailed in charges of terrorism. Ethiopia is top of fled-journalists-table leading with 79 journalists since August 1, 2011. Also 29 others were arrested for the same charge. Every day countless ordinary citizens are being arbitrarily detained with terrorist charges in all parts of Ethiopia with the convenience that the new anti-terrorism law could simply apply towards just about any act a citizen commits. It is vividly obvious that every individual that is being jailed by the regime, has not committed any terrorist act and never have that kind of character whatsoever, when critically analyzed – individual by individual. Journalist Eskinder Nega, and Reeyot Alemu, Artist Debebe Eshetu, political leader Andualem Arage are a few instances.

Terrorizing its own people for twenty long years, the EPRDF/TPLF regime wishes to continue reign with terror for as long as it could like its mentors Uganda’s Museveni and ex-Libya’s Gaddafi. The sins of fellow citizens thrown to jail with terrorist charges are; publicly criticizing the human rights abuses and repression by the regime and speaking about the need for peaceful transfer to healthy and good governance. They are against the regime terrorizing the people. They are essentially against terrorism – state terrorism. Eskindir Nega and his colleagues as well as all those imprisoned with terrorist charges are all Anti-Terrorists. They are against the terrorist regime of Zenawi. Therefore, the state-terrorist Zenawi has to avert the situation by devising a mechanism, a law against the anti-terrorists. That law, written by state-terrorist Zenawi, and now in effect, is called Anti-Counter-Terrorism. The Beginning of the End!

  1. Definition
  2. Sheger
    | #2

    When the awaiting uprise begins in Ethiopia, we should swore to our selves not to damage any property of whom ever and not make it violence uprise against any body’s life. It has to be peaceful if it is called peaceful uprise only with voices and our pen. If they listen no uprise is important they just need to change.

    By releasing all political prisoners.
    By participating all political groups in the Ethiopian politics with out any limits freedom and democracy of both agreed on constutual rights.
    By giving press freedom to all independent and Government journalists and medias, individuals.
    By allowing Sicily and civic organizations to function freely.
    By allowing people to speak against the government when they wish to, and it is any body’s right by the low.
    By respecting all the country low and by allowing the courts to work with out the governments influence, or simply
    Working for the people and serving the low.
    By giving equal apportunity to all in the peoples and country development.
    By assuring and giving free and fair election

    Simply by doing the right thing and rule by the low.

  3. Sheger
    | #3

    So far we are demonstrating and saying no to the government with out vaiolense and civil manner. It is them who are
    Terrorizing the people of Ethiopia. By saying don’t talk against me unless you are in prison or you will get killed.

    We will continue remembering and stand for and speak ” the silent voices of our people and friends ” who took the beating of this brutal regime on to their shoulders and has not bended for for their cruelty. Who says no no matter what
    against wrongs and against all odds.

    I am proud of my people.

    Long live Ethiopia my dear country and people that makes me so proud always!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love you all!!!!!!!!!

  4. Sheger
    | #4

    I for got one thing.

    We have to stand for our selves, for our rights and freedom too. When we start to say I have the rights to speak,…….that is it end off story. No body can stop peoples voices and freedom and things will go right. We have to know our rights to stand for our freedom. And we need to stop fearing the Government. It can’t do any more bad to you if it took your freedom and rights already. Consider that you live at it’s mercy unless you are dead. And who would that work??????

    No it won’t work and it will not work and it won’t work it just don’t work. Do you know how?????.

    A government that is not Governing the people by the law is not your Government but your enemy and your destroyer
    Your vanished, your pain, your disease, your poverty, your cry, your death, who will build his empire by your non existence, by looting you abuse you with no reward what so ever.

    Gigi

  5. Sheger
    | #5

    And when I say I have the rights to speak I mean to say wether you agree with them or don’t,……..what happens when you don’t, or if you change your mind some day? Or if you have an objection of some sort? ?????????

    Can you speak? Can you say no in Ethiopia today??????…….you know the rest.

  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    As of today the number one and two terrorists in the horn of Africa are: Meles and his boss Bereket Simon; following by the rest of the rest of the weyane/mafia families all over the world.

  7. Sheger
    | #7

    Dear Definition what kind of socalizim or comunizim would make that days American leaders, the so called I might add, to commit such atrocitys to this small and helpless country Kuba and it’s own citizens??????????

    Some things are better being forgotten or never know about it. But I think we should know. It helps us to be carefull.

    Thanks for this info.

    Gigi

  8. Sheger
    | #8

    And how come Kuba is still a socialist? You can’t ween Che I guss. Amazing story dear Definition it’s also very scary.
    Lord have mercy.

  9. Sheger
    | #9

    Leaving every business to whom it belongs. What do you say Ato Meles? Deal or no deal????????

    We will be waiting for your answer, not by word but by doing.

    Thank you from the deepest part of my heart in advance!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Gigi

  10. Sam
    | #10

    Kibru: I agree with encyclopedia Wikipedia defination of terrorism which is “violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for a religious, political or ideological goal, and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (civilians.)” Usually, the West, especially USA, took upon itself to define terrorism. But unfortunately the defination seemed to apply only for those religious zealots who determined to spread their dogma by terror. The Oklohama bombing culprit, Tiomothy, I do not recall him being called a terrorist. But he was. A delusional terrorist. Meles I do not think he is ignorant about the defination. He is well aware those who imprisoned in the name of fighting terrorism are political oppopnents or those who are not drumming up the ethnic politics of his. Why then he used the terrorism politics to silence dissent? For the West political consumption. The use of the word, he seemed to believe, convince the the US politicians to support his goal. The Derg used the “Anarchists” propaganda to silence opponents. The Derg used the word improperly too. The word “Anarchism” was used in the 19200 and 1930s in USA to define those who believed government was in the service of the millinaires and who took upon themselves to kill politicians aiming to dismantle government. The Derg used the terrorm wrongly probably out of lack of government. The Meles government use of the word terrorism, however, is deliberate: to fool the West. I do not think it works.

  11. Zemenay
    | #11

    It is high time that Ethiopians stop calling the ethnical fascist rule of the fascist and racist Tigrayan ethnic leader, the Ethiopian government. The fascist and racist Meles Zenawi does not like and prefer to be called Ethiopian because he has clearly said that he is a Tigrayan first. The ethncal fascist Meles Zenawi has clearly uttered his pride in his Tigrayan identity saying ” I am proud of originating from the Golden People of Tigray”. This expression of Meles confirms his conviction of the superiority of the Tigrayans and is comparable in all ways to the expression of the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler who declared the Germanic or Aryan race as the superior and master of all races on earth. The Tigrayans I know share this conviction of their ethnic leader, Meles Zenawi and supprt it very much. There are many Tigrayans in London who openly show their feelings of discomfort and unease over the presence of non-Tigrayans during the Embassy and other meetings.
    As an ethnical fascist, Meles combines the leftist ideology of Stalin (nations and nationalities) and Hitler`s fascism or nazism (race or ethnic superiority). Meles Zenawi`s brutality and mercilessness are the corner stones of these ideologies and pose a geat threat to the survival of Ethiopia as a country.

  12. Anonymous
    | #12

    According to Zenawi and his boss law and order: you are terrorist if you can see; you are a terrorist if you can hear; you are a terrorist if can eat; you are a terrorist if you pee-pee; you are a terrorist if you can du-du; you are a terrorist if you can exhale; you are a terrorist if you can inhale; you are a terrorist if you are not from adwa; you are a terrorist if you can speak english, arabic or any other languadge; you are not a terrorist if you are Zenawi a dog; you are a not a terrorist if you are Bereket dog; AND YOU ARE NOT A TERRORIST IF YOU CAN KISS SUSAN RICE BEHIND, BRITISH PUPPET, OR THE CALLED ERITREAN OPPOSITION PUPPET!!!

  13. The terrorist lives in a palace
    | #13

    As far as I’m concerned, terrorism is causing unimaginable act of horror, fear, starvation and extreme power abuse. If one wants to see what Terrorism looks like, I suggest to go to Ethiopia and interview the tens of thousands Ethiopian prisoners who are rotting in Woyane prisons and the other 80 million muzzled Ethiopians who are living in fear under the brutal dictator Meles.

    Here is Jeremy Scahill talking about how Meles got involved with the Somali war on Democracynow.org, please watch it:

    http://www.democracynow.org/2011/10/5/somalia_blowback_after_deadly_mogadishu_bombing

  14. siftina
    | #14

    As a boy,growing suspicious and lonely,Zinawi discovered his emotions and feelings after he choked a fish and a frog to death with both bare hands that he immeresed in a small neaarby pond across the street,at the foot of a moutain.He then kept the dead in a mug with a large flap and burried them under a dirty gravel road to kill the dead twice.He did not tell anyone,but got slightly frightened.It is said that Zinawi studies the senses and and the reasons of a group he is in and peers and friends he mingles with would plot purge or death to get them out of his way.He believes the world is full of wonders and vendors,and death is immortal.He has always been in the state of contradictions.

  15. Anonymous
    | #15

    siftina,
    If your story is true, which I believe it is…it proven that animal cruelty is a sign of mental sickness. I strongly believe that Meles truly suffers from some kind of mental sickness. Some mentally sick people don’t have emotions, no compassion and they believe that they are superior and smarter than others. And certainly, tyrants like Hitler and Meles has shown these kinds of characteristics and more. God Help Ethiopians!

  16. Gossaye
    | #16

    True,we all agree that crueliy is inhumane and a sin too.More and more people are now coming to a conclusion that crueliy is a psychological sickness that must be treated rigorously before it turns into psychos-ickness.Mostly,serial killers have reached the top of the crime mainly because they were not given treatment to the sympotm that they exhibited at a very early age and ownwards.

    In the west,serial killers have always been kept in isolation;rarely,they are kept in mental institution serving their terms while being treated and medicated for as long as they get better,and if they seriously follow up their medication properly.In Africa,the case is different and sometimes it is quite difficult to isolate serial killers from the psycho-sicks.In most cases the sick don’t feel they are sick;in the first place;secondly,when they get treated for their illness,they feel they are coerced into altering their being and as a result become more contemp and angry leading to going out and avenge innocents for the wrongs some one done to them,they feel.

    In Meles Zinawi case,many people said many things about his behavior and character since he was school boy and afterwords.yes,we agree he grew up not trusting strangers and distant relatives.It had been told again and again that Mr.Zinawi never had best friends in his life time;if indeed he had ones,it had always been seen as antagonistic and dangerious.

    The tricky thing about cruelity and savageness is that the agents or the subjects or,the sick,mostly do have mental faculty intact and can even be intellegent and seem friendly and humble in their family and sociatal interaction;this is a prolonged period where they remain in a state of calm and tranquility until one day the trigger set off and anxiety followed by anger adgitates their inner emotion to take a setp,fight or to retreat,flight.If,indeed,someone notices the change in their mental state by proxmity and immediately acts,then it won’t be too late to take them to treatment center.But sadly,most of the time their sickness goes unnoticed.

    Zinawi,whether he talks or quietly observing others talking or chating,he constantly thinks they or someone in the group is conspiring harm or illness against him;while in this disturbing state,he feels he is being chalanged and contesting against and feels he would lose;mistrust initiates anxiety,anxiety triggers reaction with end result either to kill or destroy them or destroy.

    Mostly people question that when Zinawi does something weird to people or to the individuals he thinks are a threat,why he doesn’t have difficulty to react and damage someone’s life? Because mostly he does react conciously in order to be on a safe ground.When Addis Ababa fell in TPLF hand,it wasn’t Zinawi who got into the city first;it was Tamrat Lyne who was sent as vanguard or Abri to see if there would be a threat or danger before Zinawi went to the next step.All what happend after that,you guys and gals knew about it.Today,Zinawi calls himself the prime minster of Ethiopia.

    As Zinawi moved through his experiences,he would continue do what he does in a similar trend and steps whether he is in his groups or outside his group observing everything very suspiciously.He is not someone sneaking over someone else;rather,he is a kind of person who plans,do,and act secretly by himself and tricks others to do things for himself.He would always act undecided when ideas comes from others as he would have suspected that someone might take him by surprise and that would be the end him.Take the situation Shabia and them fought at Badme.He was undecided and faked defeated to the idea and openion of his peers and colleagues,but prented the way he presented to peers and the friends at that time until the right time is rippen and he would act premeptively while others got fooled by how he presented to them.How many of his men and women got purged or destroyed after the Badme war had been over? The key point is that Zinawi went through throughly what he knew about his commarads,peers,and friends;then acted immediately.Zinawi can never be trusted in anything at all;this is why Zinawi must be tackled and acted before he found opportunity to react.

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