Political Prisoners Inside Ethiopia’s Gulags By ALEMAYEHU G MARIAM

February 27th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

The Plight of Andualem Aragie and Other Political Prisoners in Ethiopia

The “Gulag” prison system in the old Soviet Union was infamous for warehousing and persecuting dissidents and opponetns. (more…)

The Plight of Andualem Aragie and Other Political Prisoners in Ethiopia

The “Gulag” prison system in the old Soviet Union was infamous for warehousing and persecuting dissidents and opponetns. The gulags were used effectively to weed out and neutralize opposition to the Soviet state. They were the quintessential tools of Soviet state terrorism. Some called them “meat-grinders” because of the extremely harsh and inhumane conditions. Torture, physical abuse by prison guards, solitary confinement, inadequate food rations and officially instigated inmate-on-inmate violence were the hallmarks of the gulags.

Ethiopia’s prison system today are reminiscent of the Soviet gulags in their abuse and mistreatment of political and other prisoners. Let the facts speak for themselves: In a recent column on two Swedish journalists arbitrarily held in one of the Ethiopian prisons near the capital, N.Y. Times’ columnist Nicholas Kristoff described the prsion conditions as

filthy and overridden with lice, fleas and huge rats… a violent, disease-ridden place, with inmates fighting and coughing blood… 250 or so Ethiopian prisoners jammed in the cell protect the two [Swedish] journalists, pray for them and jokingly call their bed ‘the Swedish embassy’.

The U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Ethiopia (April 2011) documented:

…Human rights abuses reported during the year included unlawful killings, torture, beating, and abuse and mistreatment of detainees and opposition supporters by security forces, especially special police and local militias, which took aggressive or violent action with evident impunity in numerous instances; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention, particularly of suspected sympathizers or members of opposition or insurgent groups; detention without charge and lengthy pretrial detention… Numerous reliable sources confirmed in April 2009 that in Maekelawi, the central police investigation headquarters in Addis Ababa, police investigators often used physical abuse to extract confessions.

In its 2010 World Report-Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch (HRW) concluded that

… torture and ill-treatment have been used by Ethiopia’s police, military, and other members of the security forces to punish a spectrum of perceived dissenters, including university students, members of the political opposition, and alleged supporters of insurgent groups… Secret detention facilities and military barracks are most often used by Ethiopian security forces for such activities.

The U.N. Committee Against Torture (November 2010) validated HRW’s conclusions.

The Dewar Report on an Ethiopian Gulag

The regular and secret prisons maintained by the ruling regime in Ethiopia today are among the most inhumane, primitive, barbaric and sadistic in the world. In July 2008, the regime of dictator Meles Zenawi secretly commissioned retired British colonel Michael Dewars, an internationally recognized security expert, to undertake an assessment of the prison system and make recommendations. In his report, Col. Dewars expressed total horror and shock over what he witnessed in one of the prisons he visited in Addis Ababa. He recounted:

I asked to go into the compound where the prisoners are kept. This consisted of a long yard with a shed to one side which provided some sort of shelter. The compound had a wall around it and a watchtower for an armed sentry overlooking it. Inside must have been 70 – 80 inmates, all in a filthy state. There was insufficient room for all these people to lie down on a mat at once. There was no lighting. The place stank of faeces and urine. There appeared to be no water or sanitation facilities within the compound. There was a small hut in an adjacent compound for women prisoners but there had been no attempt by anybody to improve the circumstances of the place. The prisoners were mostly on remand for minor crimes, in particular theft. Some had been there for months….

Col. Dewars concluded:

Detention conditions of prisoners are a disgrace and make the Federal Police vulnerable to the Human Rights lobby…. The prison I saw was a disgrace. No one is recommending a Hilton Hotel, but, if any human rights organization were to get inside an Ethiopian jail, they would have enough ammunition to sink all our best efforts.

Col. Dewars

recommended that the Government should investigate this situation with the intention of improving the current appalling conditions inside Ethiopian prisons, which must brutalise prisoners and their goalers equally… and that senior Ethiopian Ministers and Police Officers visit the prison that I visited.

Over the past several years, I have written extensively on torture and mistreatment of political prisoners in Ethiopia. In my numerous columns on the incarceration of former judge Birtukan Midekssa, the first woman political party leader in Ethiopian history, and other political prisoners, I have pointed out the “soft torture” techniques used to crush her spirit and break her body. She was subjected to prolonged solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, visitation deprivation, daily humiliation and mindless interrogation. Birtukan faced untold suffering in prison. Zenawi could not bear the thought of Birtukan going free; and in a moment frustrated defiance declared: “There will never be an agreement with anybody to release Birtukan. Ever. Full stop. That’s a dead issue.” In the end she prevailed and became free. Just last week in Washington, D.C., she presented her study on the challenges confronting the Ethiopian opposition and offered specific recommendations for strengthening multi-party democracy in Ethiopia as a Reagan-Fascell Fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy.

Andualem Aragie Inside the Belly of the Beast

Zenawi has replaced Birtukan by another young Ethiopian leader, to be sure several dozens of young opposition leaders, journalists, activists and others. Last week, the former Ethiopian President and current leader of the Unity and Democracy Party (UDJ) Dr. Negasso Gidada reported that Andualem Aragie was severely beaten by a death-row-inmate-turned-lifer while confined in his cell. The facts of Andualem’s abuse are shocking. According to Dr. Negasso, Andualem was held in a “windowless cell for 14 people with a number of other political prisoners including Bekele Gerba, Olbana Lelisa and Tilahun Fantahun.” About a month ago, a convicted murderer whose life sentence had been commuted to life in prison was allowed to join Andualem’s cell. This criminal savagely assaulted Andualem inflicting severe injuries to his head. He was reported to lost consciousness following the assault.The Voice of America reported that “Relatives who have seen Andualem say his head injury appears to have affected his ability to maintain his balance.”

This inmate is notorious for his assaultive behavior inside the prison. He has a long record of violence and abuse of inmates. He is known to receive special accommodations for being a prison enforcer for the authorities. Rumors are rife that prison authorities paid the criminal a substantial sum for beating Andiualem.

Prior to his arrest on bogus terrorism charges, Andualem was a rising leader in the UDJ and served as its spokesperson and external relations officer. Andualem is among a new breed of young Ethiopian political leaders, journalists and civil society advocates who are widely respected and accepted. In the months leading up to the May 2010 “election” in which Zenawi claimed a 99.6 percent victory, Andualem demonstrated his unflinching commitment to democracy and the rule of law. With breathtaking clarity of thought, razor-sharp intellect, incredible courage, mesmerizing eloquence, piercing logic, stinging wit, masterful command of the facts and steadfast adherence to the truth, Andualem made mincemeat out of Zenawi’s vacuous lackeys in several televised pre-“election” debates. It was a sight to behold.

In September 2011, Andualem and 23 other individuals were “accused under the anti-terrorism law of being members of a terrorist network and abetting, aiding and supporting a terrorist group.” Earlier this month, a group of independent United Nations human rights experts (U.N. Special Rapporteurs) condemned the so-called anti-terrorism law and diplomatically cautioned that “the anti-terrorism provisions should not be abused and need to be clearly defined in Ethiopian criminal law to ensure that they do not go counter to internationally guaranteed human rights.” Andualem and the others are expected to have their day in kangaroo court on March 5.

Torture, Abuse and Plausible Deniability

Plausible deniability is the ability to deny a fact or allegation, or previous knowledge of a fact by shifting blame on someone else. In Andualem’s case, plausible deniability allows Zenawi’s regime to deny any awareness or knowledge of a criminal or criminally negligent act by its officials or unofficial agents in the prison. By allowing a notoriously violent criminal to assault Andualem, they aim to plausibly avoid responsibility. In other words, they have sought to remove their fingerprints, handprints, palmprints and footprints from the cowardly criminal act perpetrated on Andualem. But their MO (modus operandi) is well known. Whether they acted through their goons uniformed as prison guards or their deputized convicted thugs, they are exclusively responsible for the safety of all pretrial detainees like Andualem. Regardless of how one looks at it, what happened to Andualem, and has happened to other political prisoners countless times, represents a clear case of extrajudicial punishment (torture) in violation of Ethiopia’s Constitution and international human rights conventions.

Speaking of Constitutional and International Law…

The Ethiopian Constitution provides specific safeguards for the safety and protection of pre-trial detainees awaiting trial. Article 16 guarantees that “Everyone has the right to protection against bodily harm..” Andualem has the constitutional right to be secure from violence while awaiting trial. Article 110 of the Ethiopian Criminal Code (Proclamation No.414/2004) specifically requires that “prisoners who are sentenced to rigorous imprisonment or special confinement shall be kept separate from prisoners who are serving a sentence of simple imprisonment or awaiting judgment.” The criminal thug who assaulted Andualem should have never been allowed in the area reserved for pre-trial detanees. Article 18 provides, “Everyone has the right to protection against cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The savage beating of Andualem in plain sight of prison guards constitutes “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. Article 20 provides that, “During proceedings accused persons have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law…” Since Andualem has not been found guilty “according to law”, he is innocent of the charges and should have been accorded his rights consistent with that presumption. Article 21 guarantees that “All persons held in custody and persons imprisoned upon conviction and sentencing have the right to treatments respecting their human dignity.”

International law protects all prisoners, and particularly political prisoners, from inhumane and barbaric treatment. Under Article 13 of the Ethiopian Constitution, the “fundamental rights and freedoms enumerated… shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR], international human rights covenants and conventions ratified by Ethiopia.” Article 5 of the UDHR (incorporated by express reference in Art. 13 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia) prescribes that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (ratified by Ethiopia on June 11, 1993 and similarly incorporated) provides that “all persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.”

The U.N. Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (1988) (Principle 8) specifically provides: “Persons in detention shall be subject to treatment appropriate to their unconvicted status. Accordingly, they shall, whenever possible, be kept separate from imprisoned persons.” Article 1 of the Declaration Against Torture (1975) defines torture as “… any act by which severe pain and suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted by, or at the instigation of a public official on a person for such purposes as …punishing him for an act he has committed; or intimidating him or other persons…” Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (acceded to by Ethiopia on April 13, 1994) mandates that signatories “shall undertake to prevent… acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment…” Article 5 of the African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ratified by Ethiopia on June 15, 1998) prohibits, “all forms of exploitation and degradation of man particularly… torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment.” The U.N. Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners (1990) provide that “all prisoners shall retain the human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Covenants. Articles 7 and 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court include torture as a crime against humanity and a war crime.

I write about the law on the protection of the rights of political prisoners to set the record; for I know that preaching the law to outlaws is like pouring water over granite.

Free those who are wrongly imprisoned…

In August 2009, I spoke at a town hall meeting organized by “Gasha for Ethiopia”, a civic organization, on the importance of remembering Ethiopian political prisoners:

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends,” said Dr. Martin Luther King… Nothing is more important and uplifting to political prisoners than knowledge of the fact that they are not forgotten, abandoned and forsaken by the outside world. Remembrance gatherings at town hall meetings such as this one serve to remind all of us who live in freedom the divine blessings of liberty and the unimaginable suffering of those trapped in the darkness of dictatorship.

Andualem Aragie and countless political prisoners in Ethiopia reamin trapped in the darkness of dictatorship. They have been beaten down and brought to their knees. We cannot hear their whimpers of pain and desperation. Few, other than their tormentors, will be able to see their mangled bodies. Because they have no voice, we must be their voices and speak on their behalf. Because they are walled in behind filthy and subhuman prison institutions, we must unflaggingly remind the world of their suffering. We must all labor for the cause of Ethiopian political prisoners not because it is easy or fashionable, but because it is ethical, honorable, right and just. In the end, what will make the difference for the future of Ethiopia is not the brutality, barbarity, bestiality and inhumanity of its corrupt dictators, but the humanity, dignity, adaptability, audacity, empathy and compassion of decent Ethiopians for their wrongfully imprisoned compatriots. That is why we must join hands and work tirelessly to free all political prisoners held in Ethiopia’s public and secret gulags. “Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people.”

Uncage Andualem Aragie and All Political Prisoners in Ethiopia!

  1. Girum
    | #1

    I have the greatest fear that this guy, the writer, is totally anti-socialist and a blind supporter of the west.
    And hence to write about the miserable conditions of Ethiopian prison system then why you only start with that of old Soviet Union.Why you do not start with Guantanamo that belongs to US? In addition to the MIC(Military Industrial Complex) who is having the greatest industrial prison system in the world? Is it not US? Does the writer know that there is such a very vast private sector for prison systems in US?
    So many Ethiopian intellectuals, knowingly or unknowingly, are committing intellectual arrogance and ignorance in that they are trying to depict Socialism as if it is evil. It is rather Capitalism that is evil and inhuman that has been creating this all chaos across the globe. For such writers just because the West is undertaking its bogus democracy through mere election, then it is a blessed saint for them. And I say again that it is such naive and gullible mentality, that is stuck entirely on Western style bogus democracy, among Ethiopian intellectuals that has been even contributing such an immense role for today’s mess created by Ato Meles and TPLF.I am fed up and sick of such writers who cover up the evils of the West and who only hype the flaws of socialism. It is really a farce to see such blindly driven intellectual ignorance and arrogance targeted against Socialism even after we witness such global crisis against the mass due to the pervasive inflictions caused by the greedy and inhuman Global capitalism.
    Where is the wisdom and common sense of our intellectuals? From repetitive one sided pro-West views expressed in this website by our Ethiopian intellectuals, then I have started to consolidate and substantiate my fear and suspicion that so many Diaspora Ethiopian intellectuals have become pro-West and hence are blind and oblivious to the evils of Global Capitalism whose epicenter and crux is that of US and UK just because mainly most of them live there and make their livelihood there. And hence they are feeling guilty to expose the evils of global capitalism. And whenever an intellectual is to be guided by mainly his belly more than by his soul then it is not only a failure but also a shame for a certain society he/she belongs to. So I will continue to fight courageously every view that is overtly or covertly subtly expressed against Socialism. Talking against Socialism is really arrogance and ignorance that arises from betrayal of the populace we belong to and we claim we stand for. All such writers forget your bogus democracy through mere elections that you have been preaching and hyping for the last 20 solid years. We have seen it to where it is leading the global mass. Rather than hyping bogus democracy of the West, time now to talk about the virtues of Socialism rather than subtly demonizing it.
    After this whole 20 solid years of pervasive Global capitalism dominance and its pervasive inflictions it has caused against the global mass, then having no lessons from history is really a farce and shame.
    Individualism is the inherent nature of that of the West especially that of US. How on earth we blidly try to adopt and impose such unfamiliar system on our country and its peoples. We Ethiopians, Ethiopiawinet and then our associated psychological makeup, tradition, culture and religion is by itself Social and hence what best suits us is Socialism not greedy and inhuman Capitalism. Unless such knowingly or unknowingly, overtly or covertly, demonizing against socialism by our fellow Ethiopian intellectuals is stopped then true emancipation of our society shall never be achieved in the foreseeable future. Under the disguise of bogus democracy so many of us are knowingly or unknowingly, overtly or covertly are working for the survival of global capitalism rather than for the poor mass we are claiming we are fighting for. And hence it is time we need critical thinking and paradigm shift rather than wallowing in an already paradigm setup by that of global capitalism.
    Time to confront and expose the evils of global Capitalism rather than making same nonsense arguments we already know against the one time failing Socialism that was doomed by intricate sabotage of global capitalism. If all Ethiopians intellectual really want to make soul searching and want to stand by the side of the mass they belong to then there is no reason of demonizing of Socialism. Now days the mass has awakened and is very conscious beyond we imagine. While the naïve and gullible pro-west intellectual has been blindly demonizing the previous Derg regime for being killer and dictator and not a democrat by being in favor of TPLF now history is witnessing realities and the mass has got such an ample lesson from such types of historical mistakes. And hence it was by far better to side with Derg and fight TPLF and EPLF and then make the required reform on Derg than rendering such chaos to happen out of our own carelessness and shortsightedness. Finally I want to assert that it is even high time to revive the virtues of Socialism and then the mass is able to achieve its true emancipation. It is Socialism that gives true liberty and emancipation for the mass rather than the illusion of bogus democracy that is being misleadingly insidiously orchestrated by the silk and crafty global capitalism to confuse the mass.
    Global Capitalism is only giving us the dream and illusion of bogus democracy. And it is absolute sheer ignorance and naivety that such crafty manipulating system naively and gullibly hands over power to the naive and gullible mass through democracy. And the most surprising paradox is that the mass has never been as such aspiring for bogus democracy, except yearning for that of basic needs, but rather it is the naive and gullible intellectual close to the system of global capitalism that is being time and again cheated and living the same dream and illusion of democracy. And due to this it has failed to see the evils of the global capitalist system. And the other amazing paradox we Ethiopians are facing is that while our own very survival basis as a citizen and as a human being is systemically deteriorating and endangered from time to time by global capitalism then at the same time the same misleading hype of democracy is being inculcated by the naïve and gullible intellectuals. And hence even TPLF that has been such a perfect symbiotic stooge and client-regime of global capitalism has been able to mislead us for the last 20 solid years through the hype and camouflage of bogus democracy to cover up its insidious destructive agenda against Ethiopia. I do not oppose democracy but we are prematurely hyping it beyond what is warranted while we have other very serous survival issues that need our prior attention.
    It is absolute absurdity and ignorance to hype the issues of bogus democracy of the West while our own very survival basis as an Ethiopian is being severely endangered. And hence not that of Western style bogus democracy and global Capitalism that can even save Ethiopia, Ethiopians and Ethiopiwinet but rather it is Socialism and the virtues of Socialism that can save us. So what is the reason to subtly demonize Socialism by mentioning the prison systems of old Soviet Union? Even in the West among the mass the virtues of Socialism are being invoked and hence very knowledgeable scholars and intellectuals are critically demonizing the status quo of global capitalism and hence peoples even in the Wet are thinking f a better global social order. To the contrary so many naive and gullible Ethiopian intellectuals and politicians are oblivious to this global mass awakening and are stuck with the old and silly song hypes of bogus democracy inculcated and hyped by its mentor-global capitalism. I do not as such understand as to why old USSR and its Socialism values are becoming such a scary past for so many of our Ethiopian intellectuals. Socialism is not as such an absolute angel or saint when practically applied.
    But I can say confidently that Capitalism is so inhuman savage and greedy that is being expired as system to serve henceforth under the disguise of misleading Free-Market and Liberal-Democracy and hence does not stand for the interest of the global mass. I respect and appreciate Capitalism for the ample merits it has contributed for innovations of science and technology. But innovation of science and technology with out heart is meaningless. And hence Capitalism does not have as a benevolent heart for human mankind in general except fulfilling its own inherent nature of money capital accumulation as an end game through the cycle of money sequencing. Therefore rather than arrogantly and ignorantly subtly or overtly denouncing Socialism, in every opportunity we have, let’s add heart to the current global social order. And that heart is Socialism. Global Capitalism can be so brainy but it is absolutely heartless. So why do we knowingly or unknowingly support such cruel heartless inhuman system under the disguise of bogus Free-Market and Liberal-Democracy? Are things after all as such free and liberal the way we expect it? Things are actually practically free and liberal only for those few who have power and are able to manage to maneuver things the way they want. The essence of free and liberal under the realms of Free-Market and Liberal-Democracy in global capitalism are only its illusions of being free and liberal that have been perpetually delivered to the naïve and gullible mass. While we are living this illusion then on the other hand hypocritically war and occupation that have been causing such a tremendous destruction and impoverishment against the mass are undertaken globally under the disguise of democracy and humanitarian mission. And therefore for this all chaos and misery to stop we are in very moment of time to invoke and revive Socialism. Extreme forms of Individualism and its associated virtues and values are for the West not for us as such. For us that is best inherently best suited is Socialism. Both our religions be it Christianity or Muslim support the tenets and virtues of Socialism.
    Ethiopiawinet itself is Socialism. Under the disguise of Free-Market and Liberal-Democracy, trying to blindly and arrogantly impose such unfamiliar extreme forms of individualism of the Westernized system against we Ethiopians and Africans who are inherently Socialistic by nature is such a cruel crime against humanity. And the solution is not to subtly demonize socialism in every opportunity we have but rather at least we have to create such a suitable hybrid system between the two Extremes. It has been such a usual experience in such articles so many subtle indoctrinations against Socialism and to the contrary subtle indoctrinations overtly as well as covertly in favor of global capitalism and cover-up of its evils. It does not take us any where except such chaos against the mass in favor of very few elites..
    One of the main sources of these all crises and chaos is we can not take in account this very overwhelming reality. I write these all things just because I feel that, like other writers as usual, the writer wants to subtly attack the virtues of Socialism when he has made his prelude by mentioning the old Soviet prison system while totally ignoring the cases of Guantanamo of the West where so many cruel dehumanizing acts are committed. Let our views be fair and balanced. Also time to consider and see the evils of the West committed through its global capitalist system. And indeed also time to reconsider and revive Socialism rather than demonizing it knowingly or unknowingly. For those who are doing this usual task knowingly then I respects their move like this as log as it is their rights. But for those who are simply accepting this misleading indoctrination then it is also my right to expose such confusing misleading acts. We have to critically think using our own mind not through that of the West and it’s already established global Capitalist system paradigm setups. Because we can not solve a certain problem by the same mechanism that has caused the very problem in the first place. And that is why we are in vicious-circle. And I think one of the solutions to come out of the trap of the vicious-circle is to rationally scrutinize the current prevailing global social order and then to think alternative means that is Socialism. We can not continue by covering-up this overwhelming reality henceforth. And to come to the truth we need to follow our soul rather than our belly. Finally it is very tragic and shameful regarding the incident happening against the Andualem Aragie. And let God give him such an ample spiritual strength to resist this anguish. And indeed out of such sacrifice, for the sacrifice to be valued and meaningful, as a reward let Socialism revive rather than bogus democracy in order to benefit the mass so that the mass remembers such sacrifice made by Andualem Aragie.
    Down with bogus democracy!!!
    Down with TPLF!!!
    Viva true Socialism!!!
    God bless true Socialism!!!
    God bless Ethiopia!!!

  2. mamo
    | #2

    i agree, but you have to know that this so called professors’ audience is not you or me or ethiopians ,it is the wider audience of a different color . THIS man is more interested in writing in english b/c it is not about ethiopia but about his own ego and my friends we have so many egomaniacs in the society we wont move an inch to better our people unless al and his buddies like the so called alphabet soup of PHDS,MBAS,PROFESSORS AND ALL SO CALLED INTELLECTUALS change their way everyone of you who support them will live to see yourselves grow old in exile without ever having done what you want done and the end will be misery.

  3. Belay
    | #3

    Dear editors,

    Here is what your statement says when receiving comments:

    >> Your comment is awaiting moderation. Noting that Woyannes, Shabias and Hatemongers are infecting our forum, we have decided to moderate every comment. Sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused you!>>

    Doesn’t Grum’s mamo jumbo (comment #1) fall under the Woyane thugs and hate mongers category? You are not living upto your own discaimer.

  4. astra
    | #4

    Grum- are you trying to change the subject. Both Communists and Capitalists do evil things. What does that mean to Ethiopian prisoners who are NOW being endlessly brutalized by an ethnic Tigre Fascist regime

  5. anon
    | #5


    don’t you think your “comment” is a little

  6. ananymous
    | #6

    The days are approaching when Abebe/Legesse/Melese and his boss Mebrahtu G/hiwot will serve time together in the same cell

  7. Dave Goldberg
    | #7

    Long live capitalism. Good riddance socialism!!

  8. alli
    | #8

    the issue here is not between socialism and capitalism. the issue is Andualem, potentially one of the brightest political figures in Ethiopia who is on the verge of dying in woyane dungeon.

    The same routine of torture and beatings that Tigre people liberation Front meted out on several of its victims is being practised on Andualem Arage in the most intense and reckless manner with the intention of killing Andualem, if not, to make him paralaysed and brain dead for the rest of his life.

    How can his life be spared. The answer is simple as far as I am concerned.
    It is only devine intervention that can save Andualem and our country as a whole, from the grip of evil that has been suffocating this poor country for the last 20 years.
    May God give wisdom to Tigre people liberation Front and make them to turn away from wickdness.

  9. Selamawit
    | #9

    የጫት ተራ ልጅ ነኝ ብትል አምንሃለሁ ,ተቆንጥጦ ማደግ ይህን ያመጣል ወይ? ሶሻሊዝምን እንዃ አቅፋ እየንተገዳገደች ያለችው እንኳ ኖርዝ ኮሪያ በጣም ትጠልሃለች ይህን ሶሻሊዝምን ስም ስትጠራ:: አዳም ስሚዝን በትክክል አላነበብከውም ማለት ነው? ወይስ ንግድ ውስጥ ዘለህ ገብተህ ዘለህ ወጣህ?
    በል ደህና ሁን ::

  10. Sam
    | #10

    During the eve of world war two when Hitler was asked by his generals for having sound reasons for invading Poland to outsmart the world opinion, he answered you do not need sound reasons. What matter is victory. No one will dare to ask the victor whether he was right in invading or not. He had a point. But even Hitler was compelled to trumb-up charges that Poland was the inistigator by occupying radio station in the area where large number of Germans live as the result of the Versailles’ treaty demarcation. His soldiers wearing German made Polish uniforms drugged some inmates, who were supposed to be Germans living in the Dianzing region. A perfect excuse according to Hitler to outsmart the appeaser prime minister of England Chamberlin. Even the appeasr who was fooled in Austria and Checcoslavia’s case did not buy it this time. The Ethiopian government, I think, feels the same way Hitler felt at the end of August 1939. The EPDRF politicos as a “victor” feel nobody questions the inhumane way they treat their prisoners. But they are wrong. Time has changed. The world is not as naieve as it used to be. Nowadays even what is happening in remote Ethiopia cannot be escaped from being noticed. Rounding-up and shoveling innocent Ethiopians into prisons for trumbed-up political reasons is one grave error, but allowing or “indirectly encouraging” an inmate to beat a “political prisoner” even by Ethiopian standard it is very inhumane.

  11. Girum
    | #11

    When I write such a bit odd comment then I already usually expect and know so many will shout or brag at me as usual. But who cares!!! Because I already know why the reason behind is. I only care for those who critically think and critically comment and hence I do not as such care about those who say things from their belly rather than from their true mind and heart. My aim was not to write about Socialism but it is the writer’s subtle way of demonizing old USSR and its Socialist virtues that compelled me to denounce this subtle demonizing act. If the writer may be living in the West he does not necessarily make a reference only to gulags of old USSR prison systems; why not he refer to Guantanamo and the prison industrial complex that is already there in US. It is rather US not old USSR who has such a vast and complex prison systems not only locally but also across the globe. I am not even as such pro USSR but what I am saying is please let’s be fair and just when we make global comments in that lets’ not depict others as always irrational and bad while to the contrary depicting every thing of the West as if it is totally righteous and angel and of divine nature. Every system protects its survival basis and hence no government in any nation that is totally passive and benevolent when things are seriously against its own system’s survival basis. For those of you all naïve and gullible individuals fantasizing about Western style democracy are you not looking as to what has been happening in response when the protesters of OCCUPY MOVEMENTS directly target at the Capitalist system? Yes we all see and know what the severe crack down response has been. So no system is as such heavenly and hence is also some how repressive when things come against its own survival basis. With such a scary past experience regarding Derg and Socialism then it is expected for so many Ethiopians to associate Socialism entirely with Derg and with some of its tragic Experiences we have. However Ethiopians also very well know what it means regarding Capitalism and TPLF. So we Ethiopians can pretty well compare and contrast between Socialism and Capitalism. Bragging and shouting does not take us any where and hence realities speak for themselves more than we do. And the overwhelming reality is that Capitalism can not any more henceforth continue this way and at least it has to work and coexist together with that of inevitable Socialism. Any of you who want to ridicule me if you really love and respect your poor peoples and your poor country more than your belly then there is no vital reason that you demonize Socialism overtly or covertly. Well if the case is like “ውሻ በበላበት ይጮሃል” then that is another issue. I thought we are talking rationally about a certain system from such a very vast and deep perspective not about a certain narrowly calculated and viewed personal privilege and advantage offered with regard to a certain system. Even so many give such a shortsighted commentary in that TPLF is Revolutionary Democrat that has such a Socialist/Communist essence and that is why it is doing things like this. And hence if any body like me has such a Socialist leaning then, according to them then he/she must be TPLF or Pro-TPLF.So funny and so confused. May be also sometimes so crafty and very deliberately done to maintain the status-quo of global capitalism. And that is why some one labeled me as TPLF. Look what is happening from day to day regarding the miserable living conditions of the Ethiopian majority mass. Is it due to because of the essence of Socialistic nature of TPLF? TPLF is indeed stooge that serves as a client-regime for global capitalism. Just because TPLF is so crafty in order to achieve the full support of the poor mass then it has to wear the mask of Socialism till it clings to power. Then immediately after TPLF took power then it started to betray the mass and as expected started to side with foreign MASTERS and engaged in serving Global capitalism. This is the well known behind the curtain usual modus operandi of 3rd world opposition movements. It is so silly and bizarre to say that TPLF has socialist leaning while to the contrary till this very days it has been selling off government owned enterprises which have been giving fair and reliable services for the mass. Is it even after all the essence of developmental state? What best describes TPLF is that it is such a mafia style leadership that mainly serves as stooge for foreign forces and also for its ethnically affiliated society. For those of you who have such a scary past experience regarding Socialism do you by the way know there are even very famous Political parties in Europe like France Germany and others who have such a Socialist leaning? Why Socialism failed? Can any body who can give me rational reason? Because it is not as such a viable system? If the answer is yes then is it because TPLF is as such viable system that it managed to topple Derg and has seized power? For those of you who even say TPLF is communist then how on earth it comes that the crafty West that has been fighting Communism to be doomed like this then helps some forces like TPLF to cling to power at the eve of the end of cold ward and communism it self? Capitalism has such a long hundred years of history and experience and power in all aspects. And the fight between Capitalism and Socialism was like the fight between Goliath and David and that is why it failed temporarily its historical failure and not because it has no such an immense virtues that is good for all mankind. When you all denounce and ridicule the virtues of Socialism then what i indirectly happen to understand is that as a society we are some how in some sort of stalemate and confusion and also in some sort of generational-crisis that has deprived us all of our virtues as a human being. We all have sold off all our invaluable virtues in return for money and bogus democracy and indeed that is what it really means Capitalism. And indeed such phenomenon is really a farce for a certain society. And during the last 20 tears of not only racial rule by TPLF but also its associated rule with that of global Capitalism then we all know what sort of virtues we all Ethiopians have achieved. Is there any body who can tell me then it is the virtues of Socialism? We all have sold off all our intrinsic virtues as Ethiopians and as a human being in return for money and we will see where it will take as eventually. Most of you who want to ridicule me your views are so shallow that do not hold water and you say so simply because you have to say it as usual based on you compulsive impulse of past scary experience regarding socialism during Derg. But ask critically rather than mainly emotionally and as to what the classical and eternal values and virtues of Socialism has to do with as such with one time inadvertent event of Derg Regime.I want to assert that such covert and subtle ways of entirely associating Socialism with very narrow events like Derg is such an insidious sabotage to hinder the true emancipation of Ethiopian Society. And unless as to what sort of social order(Capitalism or Socialism or mixed) we have to follow and advance is critically and rationally explored and scrutinized timely then talking this all about the usual stereotypical party politics and its associated bogus democracy through mere election is worthless for our society. Socialism is inevitable whether we like it or not and it is not my personal view but rather realities witness this truth. And in addition to fighting the racist oppressive and plundering TPLF regime then if we really love, respect and stand for the populace then rather than arrogantly and ignorantly demonizing Socialism then let’s work hard in parallel for the revival renaissance of its virtues.
    God bless Socialism!!!
    Viva Socialism!!!
    God bless Ethiopia!!!

  12. አንበሳ
    | #12

    ወያኔ ሰው በላው የሰላም ሰው መሆኑን የፖለቲካ ብቃቱ ስላስቀናው ወያኔ የነገውን በፍራት በማሰብ ቅስሙን የሰበረ መስሎት ዘረኛ ወያኔ የወገን ጠላት ሻቢያን ተከትሎ አገር ሊገነጥል የመጣ እግዚአብሕር ወይ የኔን የደካማዋን ልመና እንደማትንቅ ተስፍ አለኘ ወያኔንና ተከትላውን ከመጣበት መልሳቸው ሰላማው ታጋዪችን ነጻ አውጣልኝ ኢትዪጵያ ሰው ያስፈልጋታል እንደዚህ አይነት ጠንካሮች

  13. Fethawi
    | #13


    If you want socialist hey why are you opposing TPLF rule. They fulfill all the criteria’s what socialist means. I am not saying western democracy is without a flaw. However, socialist is worst in my opinion. However, that isn’t the point; the point is about political prisoners in Ethiopia. Besids as most suggested you comment is should be short and to the point. Sorry, but your comment equates with the article itself (size wise).

  14. Fethawi
    | #14


    If you want socialist hey why are you opposing TPLF rule. They fulfill all the criteria’s what socialist means. I am not saying western democracy is without a flaw. However, socialist is worst in my opinion. However, that isn’t the point; the point is about political prisoners in Ethiopia. Besids as most suggested your comment is should be short and to the point. Sorry, but your comment equates with the article itself (size wise).

  15. Oda Tulu
    | #15

    #11 Girum: You left out the Stalinist TPLF regime and the genocidal tyrant Meles Zenawi – the dedicated follower of Enver Xhoja of the radical communist Albania.

    Prof. Alemayehu simply recalled the excesses of the defunct USSR communist party in its inhumane grave violation of human rights.

  16. Paulos
    | #16


  17. Berhe
    | #17

    What did you do with my comment?

  18. Mateos
    | #18

    “It does not require many words to speak the truth.”

    Chief Joseph of the Nez Pierce Tribe

  19. Girum
    | #19

    All of you who are trying to ridicule me, I know that you usually talk like a parrot and echo creator. A parrot says or talks things again what it is already told to say so. It does not have the required processing and reasoning capacity as it is an animal. If you hear the word democracy then you say it like a parrot and if you hear about human rights then you say it again like a parrot and if you hear about terrorism then you say it again like a parrot ……And i dare to say that the damage made by such individuals is tantamount to the damage made by TPLF against this nation. Even TPLF is prudent enough and it pretty well knows what it has been doing more than guys like you who condemn TPLF. And that is why even TPLF ignores or disregards forces whose members are guys like you who speak like a parrot. By the way to defend the intrinsic values and virtues of Socialism in today’s world, it even requires such an ample intrinsic personal integrity and virtues and that is why you fail to do so and resort to the usual stereotypical ridiculing of Socialism rather than defending it. I some how understand to what extent of confusion you have been brainwashed and indoctrinated by the stereotypical pervasive mainstream media for the last 20 years and hence I do not blame you if you are endowed with such clone integrity. Yes to support the intrinsic virtues of Socialism then it requires having intrinsic values and being brand and having such a deepest sense of integrity. Therefore rather than ridiculing me you better make the required soul searching and upgrading your level of consciousness to a better caliber so that you are able to make high profile arguments that are of deepest sentiment and value. Well till then you can wallow in such worthless attitudes of impulsive hasty and blindly driven labeling that is the result of being trapped under the cocoons of the usually existing paradigm setups. All of you when you hear unfamiliar views then it shivers or shakes you severely and you feel as if the floor beneath your feet is lifted.
    So do not simply throw blind labeling but rather simply objectively scrutinize and criticize me based on the views i posit regarding the virtues of Socialism though it is not the main topic in that we inadvertently have got on it.

  20. Fitsum
    | #20

    I don’t understand the wrong doing of the professor as such who ever commented against him has a love for a stanilist or zenawist style of socialism. I don’t even think that my friend understand what Mr. Alemayehu wants to say. I am so sorry to see such a hate that has no substance inside but a comment that refflects nothing but EMPTY voice. I AM WORRIED THAT some people are showing as such disgusting face and comment against educated people. what we are missing here is, education helps to further analize and gestify things in a scientific way than blind approch. my friend the one you hate is our hero! my advise for you is live this professor alon and invest your energy to demonize the brutal regime of meles Zenawi, and join the united front against the stanalised system in Ethiopia.
    we salute all our Ethiopian scholars, Professors, doctors …etc.

  21. ሶብየት ሲናገሩ ጥሩውን አይርሱ
    | #21

    ሶቭዬት ዩኒየን አፓርታይድን ወይም ዘረኝነት በመደገፍ አይታወቅም!!!
    እንዲያውም ዘረኝነትንና አፓርታይድን እንዲወድቅ ትልቅ ትግል ያደረገ ነበር
    ለሰው ልጅም እኩልነት የሚታገል እንደነበር አንርሳ

  22. zeakulai
    | #22

    Yes,yes we all are longing for the criminal,Meles Zinawi and the men and the women surround him going to jail for life,then for eternity to hell.Amen.

    By any account,there is no single an Ethiopian whose life has been affected directly or indirectly by the criminal activities of the robbers and the murderers who came into Ehtiopia via invasion;these criminal have had a lot of blood in their hands and billions of dollars stolen from 80 million Ethiopians.Sure enough and frandly speaking,we are bearing the huge cost and will continue to bear the daunting cost until we completely eliminate Zinawi and his men and women from the surface of the our motherland;this is the minimum price the robbers will pay for.

    Yes,sadly enough,we are deeply concerned about the health of our brothers and sisters who have been in jail on false charge and a revenge to hurt our homeland by these cruel robbers that we all know must be got ridden of.We will.

  23. zeakulai
    | #23

    Yes,yes we all are longing for the criminal,Meles Zinawi and the men and the women surround him going to jail for life,then for eternity to hell.Amen.

    By any account,there is no single an Ethiopian whose life has not been affected directly or indirectly by the criminal activities of the robbers and the murderers who came into Ehtiopia via invasion;these criminal have had a lot of blood in their hands and billions of dollars stolen from 80 million Ethiopians.Sure enough and frandly speaking,we are bearing the huge cost and will continue to bear the daunting cost until we completely eliminate Zinawi and his men and women from the surface of the our motherland;this is the minimum price the robbers will pay for.

    Yes,sadly enough,we are deeply concerned about the health of our brothers and sisters who have been in jail on false charge and a revenge to hurt our homeland by these cruel robbers that we all know must be got ridden of.We will.

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