Tewodros Beharu: Ethiopia’s prosecutor from hell in America By Abebe Gellaw

June 16th, 2014 Print Print Email Email

Under the brutal rule of the TPLF, courts are key instruments of repression. This is not an allegation. It is rather a well-documented and substantiated fact widely known across the world. One of the worst crimes the TPLF has committed in the last two decades is using fake laws, Kangaroo courts, unjustly ruthless “prosecutors” and “judges” to silence and torment anyone opposed to its criminal tyranny.

“Prosecutors” and “lawyers” in the league of Shimelis Kemal have committed heinous crimes under the guise of nonexistent due process. Among other things, Shimelis is the author of the so-called anti-terrorism proclamation and the charities and societies law. Tewodros Beharu, who was recruited as a student OPDO operative at college, is one of those who were willingly followed the bloody footsteps of TPLF’s hacks like Shimelis.

Journalists, activists and political dissidents that have survived torture chambers, killing sprees and all sorts of inhumane treatment are mostly forced to go through the Kangaroo court system even if the whole process is a sham designed to give repression a semblance of justice. The system deliberately dispenses injustice by imposing the will of the TPLF under the guise of justice.

The fake and unjust “lawyers” like Tewodros Beharu, Berhanu Wondimagegn, Zeresenay Misganaw and Berihun Teklebirhan were given tasks to persecute journalists and activists using the anti-terrorism law. In the service of their TPLF paymasters, the hack lawyers have fabricated countless treason and terrorism charges against innocent people whose only crime was exposing and challenging the corruption and tyranny of the TPLF.

Fake prosecutor Tewodros Beharu is no exception. He willingly and passionately played a key role in sending Eskinder Nega, Andualem Aragie, Reeyot Alemu, Nathnael Mekonnen, Bekele Gerba, Olbana Lelisa, the Muslim leaders and so many political prisoners to the hellish TPLF jails. This unjust man is now living in Silver Spring, Maryland. While his victims are suffering in harsh jails, he appears to go to bed without any remorse and regrets.

After shattering the dreams of so many patriots condemned to suffer nightmares just for the love of their people and country, he is pursuing “happiness” and the American dream. It appears that the former TPLF tormentor and persecutor has sought asylum under false pretence that he was persecuted and tortured. To make matters worse, he rejected numerous requests to explain about the way he and his partners in crime were able to convict innocent people with serious terrorism offences and crimes they have never committed. He even tried to blame it all on Shimelis Kemal despite the key roles he played in the whole drama.

Whatever the justification, Tewdoros knows the fact that political prisoners deemed to be threats to the TPLF are always guilty, even before they are pronounced guilty as charged by opportunistic Kangaroo court judges and prosecutors like himself hired to do the dirty job. He is also aware of the fact that the “terrorists” he convicted faced concocted and fictitious charges without the need to present any shred of evidence. They have been denied a fair trial and the basic right to challenge false accusations to prove their innocence.

The worst and most outrageous legal drama unfolded in the aftermath of the 2005 elections. The landslide election victory the opposition had pulled off triggered Meles Zenawi’s panic attacks. Over 193 civilians including minors were mowed down by the brutal Agazi brigade and the federal police. Then opposition party leaders, journalists and civil society leaders were detained and charged with genocide, outrage against the constitution and treason, charges authored by Shimelis Kemal and his handlers.

Former publisher and journalist Serkalem Fasil and her son Nafkot Eskinder, who was born in jail in the wake of the 2005 election turmoils, were forced to flee Ethiopia almost a year ago. Her husband , the fiery award-winning journalist Eskinder Nega, was convicted of trumped-up “terrorism” offenses. He was condemned to 18 years in jail. The chief prosecutor in this and other high profile anti-terrorism charges to inflict maximum harm and pain was none other than Tewodros Beharu.

Following Eskinder’s terrorism conviction, their two houses and a car were confiscated. Adding insult to injury, TPLF was very eager to make sure that not only Eskinder but his family suffer the injustice. After losing everything they have, it was a hard and heartbreaking decision for Serkalem to leave her husband behind. But upon his insistence, she had no choice but to go into exile, at least to protect their child from the unjustly tormenting and painful experience.

A couple of weeks later, Tewodros Beharu, along with his wife Meron Girma, left Ethiopia dreaming a better life in the United States. Unlike the majority of Ethiopian exiles that flee persecution, torture, killings and discrimination, the former public prosecutor left behind the shattered dreams of so many political prisoners and their families.

Tewodros was one of TPLF’s prosecutors, or rather persecutors, trained and employed to fabricate terrorism charges against political prisoners like Eskinder Nega, Andualem Aragie, Nathaniel Mekonnen, Reeyot Alemu, Wubishet Taye, Bekeke Gerba, Olbana Lelisa, the Muslim community leaders and the two Swedish journalists Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye. Tewdos also convicted exiled “terrorists” such as Obang Metho, Neamin Zeleke, Dr. Berhanu Nega, Ephrem Madebo, Fasil Yenealem, Mesfin Negash, Abiy Teklemariam and myself.

In a reversal of fortune, Tewodros Beharu has ended up among the terrorists he falsely accused and convicted. This beggars the question how the persecuted and the persecutors can coexisted in the land of freedom where the rule of law is supreme. When victims and tormentors face off, the “dreamer “in the pursuit of happiness may be too sad to face truth, justice and reality….

As Malcolm X once said, “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.” Not only Tewodros but all the false accusers and judges in Ethiopia should realize the fact that those of us they convicted with all sorts of crimes and terrorism are not criminals and terrorists but law-abiding citizens that dare to speak truth to power.

Tormenting and attacking innocent people with false accusations and fake laws is nothing but terrorism. Those who falsely accuse and prosecute others are conscious criminals. They cannot invoke ignorance or arrogance as a defense.

Let the truth speak for itself. The truth never lies. It is always powerful and irrefutable.

  1. aha!
    | #1

    thank You Abebe Gelaw for bringing up another crucial point and/or strategy the TPLF/eprdf regime is using unlike the Derg regime of Military dictatorship, holding on to Marxist-Leninist ideology together with the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia was summarily executing, the previous government officials and later on its opponents against military dictatorship without trials, as well as eliminating each other. That behavior/strategy by the TPLF/eprdf regime has been documented in Dr. Negede gobeze’s article titled “Megeses yalebet igemengist”, emphasizing on the lack on the independent braches of government under the TPLF/eprdf regime and the constitutional frame work, I presume of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism and/or state capitalism, which I emphasize upon. These notion and perception is missing from the pro-democratic movements, that created UDJP and Ginbot -7 +OLF Or ALJE+OLF/AFD2, and the loyalist opposition parties, recentely forming a coalition with UDJP in terms of ethnic agenda for respect for ethnic rights, opening up of political space, “yelili mengistats iqulent mebit mekeber”, while upholding ethnic federalism/ethnic homelands, and human rights, a common denominator and democracy, which are contrary to the national agenda, placing them in the same category with the TPLF/eprdf regime, which applies the strategy of using the judiciary branch, a non-independent braches of the government to prosecute its political opponents with out a due process afforded by a democratic government with independent branches of government. In the first place, the constitutional frame that allows for ethnic dictatorship for either majority or minority ethnic rule, does not allow for democracy to be super imposed. In the second place, there no independent branches of government attributed to a democratic country, where democracy is a rule by the people for the people and of the people unless individual rights become precedent over ethnic and secessionist rights. It sounds like catch 22, those with ethnic agenda want to uphold the constitution with ethnic rights and those with national agenda want to embrace individual rights by ratifying the constitution must be the defining point for the positive forces of integration against the negative forces of disintegration.

  2. Tecola
    | #2

    “One possible method to effect changes at the grassroots level is to use the Ethiopian Courts by filing complaints on behalf of to get redress from Governmental inequities rather than wait on the sideline while the destructive resentment/hate pressure is building up in society. This is a long term process, but it has the added virtue in teaching us to use the legal system no matter how flawed it may be. The complaints against violations of the rights of citizens and unequal treatment of Ethiopians from different ethnic background can be lodged against individual government officials and/or the government corporate entities…

    “At the very least, court processes and possible remedies were available even during the tyrannical administration period of Meles Zenawi and at this time too in challenging any form of executive action that limits the fundamental rights of citizens on the basis of ethnic identity. The Ethiopian Courts were not approached and not even a single time to stop such ethnic cleansing, rather the focus was on political agitation and demonstrations—a far less effective method of political struggle. The Diaspora politicians in the United States are witnesses to the legal process in this country. None I know of advocated to use the Ethiopian Courts for safeguarding human and democratic rights of Ethiopian citizens. There were few instances where some political parties in Ethiopia had tried to use the Ethiopian Courts to get some injunctive relief and/or declaratory judgment on specific party organization conflicts. It has not worked that well in those limited instances. We must not be discouraged by temporary failures, for we need to focus on the prize. Let us not undermine the power of courts. The American Courts changed both the social and political life in America for disfranchised and discriminated minorities through individual court decisions.”

  3. Mishgi Dencha
    | #3

    After all these years why focus on Obbo Tewderos Beharu(Bharu) a small fish in the pond.Whereas,Tamarat Lyne, Arkabe, Seye Aberham, Dawit Yohannes and his cousin ambassdor, Genet Zewde are all ghastly specimen of political criminals who are enjoying economically rewarding life in the West. This is not, by all means to suggest that he is not a criminal. Far from it,he should be rather roundly condemened for serving under TPLF at a time when Afaars, Annuak, Ogadens and Oromos are being exterminated. The whole point of my agreement is why reflexively chauvenist Amharas, foremost Abebe Gellaw always like to accuse “his not kind” Shimelis Kemal and Tewdros Beharu a Selti Gurage and Oromo.Paradoxically, one did not hear the lisping voice of Abebe Gellaw when Fikerselassie Waqderis his kinsman is presented to the diasphoras for his sage advise to salavge the country he destoyed in 1991. I find this really sickening.

  4. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #4

    Is this true? I urge the editors of this website to verify this allegation and the story told in this article. The prosecutor who sent Obbo Eskinder to 18 years in jail and he is now here on political asylum? Are you kidding me? How does this happen? Are you serious? Where are the lawyers among us? I urge or better yet beg the editors of this website to get to the bottom of this matter and verify this serious allegation. Is this former prosecutor playing the ethnic card now?

  5. Alebachew
    | #5

    Sorry, but this article is too selective and too bias, it is written with hidden political agenda, it does not represent the facts.

  6. woyane is in crisis -politically and financially?
    | #6

    Thank you Abe!!!!

  7. Amare Gezaw
    | #7

    We should defeat EPRDF with logic and rationalism not lies.

    Beside this is the kind of lies and misrepresentation of the truth that make EPRDF strong and untouchable. We can not defeat EPRDF by such baseless accusation and endless falls propaganda, if we are serious about being opposition, then we must appeal to the majority by speaking the truth rationally with logic and language understand not this kind of hollow propaganda.

  8. Alebachew
    | #8

    Courts and judicial branches of government do not operate in YE MENDER ALUBALTA AND BY YE MENDER WOREGNA, beside hackling and falls allegation can not be substitution for facts of evidence, thus this one sided story is nothing but another useless blaber.

  9. Tecola W. Hagos
    | #9

    First of all, I did not submit comment #2 under Tecola, wherein the quoted material is from my article, “Political Power and the Art of Political Compromise,” which adds to the confusion. However, such acts of vandalism and irresponsible activity does not surprise me at all, for a number of Ethiopians here in the Diaspora or back home have an erosion of their moral and ethical boundaries. Only the other day I found out one of my books was put in PDF for downloading et cetera without my knowledge or approval.

    I have read Abebe Gellaw’s article and I respect his right to express his views. However, in terms of his perception of the legal system in Ethiopia or in general, I think his perception is simply populist and does not help us advance our aspirations for a just and democratic society. In the process of social and political engagement, there will be both negative and positive results. The idea is to build on the positive while discounting the negative. It is not possible to have a clean solution to any problem. Problems are messy, so are solutions. Shouting at leaders will get us some attention for few hours, but we cannot build any form of structure that will advance our cause. I do not dispute that Abebe’s burning love for Ethiopia and his for a degree of justice for all. I wish he uses his journalist skill for investigative reporting and bring out with evidence the corruption of all political leaders whether in power or in opposition, whether local in Ethiopia or in the Diaspora.

    Tecola W. Hagos

  10. Amare Gezaw
    | #10

    What our people need is positive actions, not negativity.

    While We Ethiopians residing here in the WEST spreading useless propaganda and manufacturing lies, true Ethiopians heroes in Ethiopia building bridges, colleges, universities, factories, highways, mega hydro dams, advanced mega irrigation farming, hospitals etc…..

    May God Bless Ethiopia !

  11. Long live Ethiopia
    | #11

    Mr Tecola suggestion to approach the Ethiopian court to redress the injustice in Ethiopian court is unbelievably “naive ” from the person who declares himself to be statue observer of Ethiopian court system. This an attempt to give the TPLF stooges a cover from any scrutiny from their western supporters. The Ethiopian court system has never vindictive a single political prisoner.Melese and his stooges are the prosecutors and the judges –and Mr Tecola knows that well. To come out here and preach us about the virtue of using the legal system in Ethiopia to undo injustice is insulting to say the least.

  12. woyane is in crisis -politically and financially?
    | #12

    Questions for Abe:

    As you know, Aljeziria journalists are now sentenced to at least seven years in prison.
    is there any similarity between Ethiopia and Egypt governments actions against freedom of speech, journalism, right to information?
    Do you think these countries are strategically important to west?
    if you think they are allies of the West, do you think it’s the west who is supporting them or turning blind eyes in their imprisoning of journalists?

    if you think they are allies of the west but the West is against the actions taken by these governments what is the practical action taken by the West?

  13. woyane is in crisis -politically and financially?
    | #13

    Question to Tekula Hagos
    You did not point out any thing that you disagree with Abebe article.

    1. What is the point of you shouting like this when you have nothing to say in regard to the content of his article.

    2. Perception issue
    Abebe is not writing this article based on perception of what legal system in Ethiopia is like. He wrote from his own experiences of the kangaroo court and as well as from the others. Prof. do not forget he is one of the people who were falsely accused by the kangaroo court for crime he did not commit.

    Get your facts right. knowledge wise, he understands and knows the law better than you perceive about his knowledge.

    3. Your burning love for Woyane blinded you to the crimes and destruction caused by them.

    As a professor your comments should be related to the article and issues raised otherwise what is the point shouting without making a point.

    4. Are you saying journalists in Ethiopian are guilty as charged and the punishment fits the crime?

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