In Washington DC,London and Norway
25-26 January 2013
The following are photos of some of the Oromo political prisoners out of the more-than-20,000 languishing in TPLF’s notorious prisons across Oromiyaa and the Ethiopian empire. A few of these notorious prisons, namely, Qilinto, Zeway, Shawa Robit and Dire Dawa, are also shown below. These photos were compiled from human rights organizations’ reports and other sources.
Photo: The Notorious Zeway Prison, Where Thousands of Oromo Political Prisoners Languish
(The Gulele Post) – Oromo opposition leaders Bekele Gerba and Olbana Lelisa, who were recently sentenced to lengthy prison term, are now transferred from Kality to the malaria infested Zeway prison.
Zeway already hosts some 3000 Oromo political prisoners. It is to be recalled that the renown Oromo singer Usmayyo Mussa fell sick while at this prison and passed away a few months after being released.
Gulelepost has also been told that Bekele Gerba’s wife was fired from her teaching job accused being a terrorists’ wife. Oromos in North America have planned to protest in Washington DC on January 25, 2013 to denounce the incarceration of these leaders.
In related news, Yassin Nuru, a renown Islamic intellectual and one of the Muslim leaders languishing in jail, is separated from the rest of the prisoners and taken to the isolation room, where he is being kept for 23 hours without access to sunlight.
JOINTLY ORGANIZED BY
THE OROMO STUDIES ASSOCIATION (OSA)
NOTICE: OUT-OF-STATE RALLY GOERS, PLEASE READ HERE TO PLAN YOUR TRIP.
PEACEFUL PROTEST RALLY IN WASHINGTON D.C. (JAN. 25, 2013) AGAINST ETHIOPIAN REGIME
The government of Ethiopia has continued its widespread harassment, arrest, killing, kidnapping and disappearance, accusing, convicting and sentencing to life and long-term prison of Oromo nationals under fabricated charges.
These are few of the recent examples of the rampant human rights violations of the Ethiopian regime perpetrated on the Oromo, and other oppressed nations & nationalities, demanding their lawful rights. Overall, it is estimated that more than 20,000 Oromo nationals languish in prison at any given moment over the last 20 or so years of the EPRDF rule.
To bring these abuses to the attention of the US public and decision-makers, the Oromo Studies Association (OSA), the Oromo Community Organization (OCO) of Washington D.C. area, and the Oromo Youth Self-Help Association have jointly organized a protest in Washington D.C. We call all Oromo nationals and friends of the Oromo living in and around Washington D.C. metropolitan area to participate in this peaceful demonstration. Let’s get together, stand in unison and speak on behalf of those whose voices have been unjustly silenced.
»» BEKELE GERBA, OLBANA LELLISA, et. al.
On November 1, 2012, two well-respected Oromo opposition leaders, Mr. Bekele Gerba and Mr. Olbana Lellisa, and seven other Oromo nationals were convicted under the charge of “working underground to secede Oromia from the federal government” and other bogus charges after keeping them in prison for more than one year in jail.
Gaafa Sadaasa 1, 2012, hogganoota saba Oromoo beekkamoo kan ta’an Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa, Obbo Olbaanaa Leellisaa fi Oromoota torba kan biroo irratti seera “Farra Shororkeessummaa” jedhuun sobaan himatee murtii yakkaa haqa hin qabne itti muree jira.
»» ARRESTS DURING IRREECHAA 2012
On September 30, 2012, more than 200 Oromo nationals, mostly the youth, have been rounded up and arrested when they were peacefully celebrating the annual Irreechaa festival at Lake Arsadi, Bushoftu, Eastern Shoa zone. Two months after their arrest, they are still held without any change.
Gaafa Fulbaana 30, 2012, lammiileen Oromoo 200 ol tahan bakka nagaadhaan ayyaana Irreechaa kabajaa jiran Malkaa Arsadii, Bushooftuu irraa qabamanii mana hidhaatti darbaman. Erga qabamanii ji’a lama darbus, lammiileen kun hanga ammaa mana murtiitti osoo hin dhihaatin mana hidhaatti ugguramanii hiraaraa jiru.
»» THE ASSASA MASSACRE
On April 6, 2012, at least four Oromo Muslims: Musa Gabi, Kemal Irena, Aliyi Wako, and Shafi Jano were gunned down in the town of Assasa, Oromiyaa, when the government forces fired live ammunition on unarmed civilians coming out of the local mosque.
Gaafa Ebla 6, 2012, hawaasa Oromoo amantii Islaamaa hordofan nagaadhaan masgiida magaalaa Asaasaa, Arsii, Oromiyaa, keessaa salaataa Jum’aatirraa bahanitti dhukaasudhaan Oromoota Afur gara jabeenyaan guyyaa adii ajjeesee, kanneen 200 ol tahan mana hidhaatti darbe. Oromoonni ajjeefaman kunniin: Musaa Gabii, Kamaal Irranaa, Aliyyii Waaqootiifi Shaafii Jaanoo jedhamu.
»» HARASSMENT OF OUR MUSLIM COMMUNITY
More than 30 Muslim leaders are put in Maikelawi Prison and facing the same fabricated charges,
Hawaasa Muslima karaa nagaatiin gaaffii mirgaa gaafatee hiriira bahaa jiru hiraarsuu, hidhuu fi ajjeessuun bal’inaan itti fufee jira. Hoogganoonni Musliimotaa 30 caalan sobaan himatamanii ammallee mana murtiitti deddeebi’aa jiru. Musliimonni kumaatamaan lakkaayaman, sababa mirga amantii seeraan kennameef gaafataniif qofa ammallee mana hidhaa keessatti dararamaa jiru. Gaafa Onkoloolessa 21, 2012, Muslimoota Afuritu magaalaa Garba, Wallootti hidhattoota mootummaatiin ajjeefame. Warra ajjefame keessaa sadan isaanii Sa’id Abdallaa, Abduu Odaa fi Husseen jedhaman. Namoota baay’eetu reebamanii madayan, hedduunis hidhaman.
Mootummaan Itoophiyaa Wayyaaneedhaan hoogganamu akkuma amala isaa saba Oromoo yakka tokkon maleetti hidhuu, ajjeessuu, dararuu, biyyaa dhabamsiisuu fi ragaa sobaa itti funaanee murtii hidhaa bara dheeraa fi du’aa itti jigsuu itti fufee jira.
Kanneen asi olitti tuttuqaman hiraarsa maqaa “shororkeessummaatiin” ummata Oromoo irra geessifamaa jiru keessaa hanga muraasa dha. Yeroo ammaa yoo xiqqaate Oromootni 20,000 ol tahan sababa Oromoo ta’an qofaaf shakkamoo ta’anii mana hidhaa keessatti rakkachaa akka jiraan tilmaamama.
Roorroo bifa hundaan lammiilee Oromoo biyya keessa jiraatan irratti raawwatamaa jiru mormuu fi mootummaa Ameerikaa fi mootummoota addunyaa dhageessisuuf jecha WQO, Jaarmaan Hawaasa Oromoo Washington D.C., fi Waldaan Walgargaarsa Dargaggoota Oromoo walta’uudhaan hiriira nagaa magaalaa Washington D.C. keessatti geggeeffamu qindeessaniiru. Hiriira kana irratti ummanni Oromoo Washington D.C. fi naannoo ishee jiraattan akka hirmaattan dhaamsa lammummaa isiniif dhiheessina. Tokkummaan humna! Tokko taanee, harka wal qabannee, lammiilee keenya hiraarfamaa jiraniif haa falmannu!
»» MEDIA COVERAGE ABOUT THE RALLY IN DC
FILE PHOTO: A PRISON CELL IN OROMIYAA – Each mattress, seen here on the floor, belongs to one inmate – Prisoners of Conscience are jam-packed into such cells. The ceilings are used to store their clothes and other belongings.
January 12, 2013
For immediate Release
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) has learnt through its informants that the government of Djibouti has arbitrarily arrested 43 refugees from Ethiopia (Oromo and Ogdenian nationals) and deported the, to Ethiopia. All these refugees, who were picked up by the Djibouti security forces from their residences on the 31st of December, 2012 were confined in a small detention cell and finally handed over to Ethiopian security forces on January 1, 2013 in violation of international treaties to which, we believe, Djibouti is a signatory. It has been difficult to obtain the names of all of the victims of these joint actions of the Djibouti and the Ethiopian governments. However, the HRLHA informant has managed to obtain the name of the followings:
1 Badassa Gelata (Oromo)
2 Ahmadnur Mohamed (Oromo)
3. Adem Sheik Ali/ Odaa (Oromo)
4. Geneti Worku Takele UNHCR File # 47911C00280
7. Abdulkarim Turee
Besides, the HRLHA reporter in Diredawa, Eastern Oromia/Ethiopia has confirmed that the deported refugees are currently detained in Diredawa town detention center in the Eastern Oromia where they are held in solitary confinement.
Despite their having the UNHCR attestation papers, Kadir Hasan ahmed, Fatih Mohamed Ali, Abdul Aziz Ahmed and Muhamed Abdo Ahmed have been handed over to the security forces of the Ethiopian Government by the government of Djibouti at the Ethio-Djibouti border in February 2008 (HRLHA Urgent Action No 1, February 18, 2008, )
Under Article 33 (1) of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (189 U.N.T.S. 150), “[n]o contracting state shall expel or forcibly return a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his . . . Political opinion.”
The Ethiopian government has a well-documented record of gross and flagrant violations of human rights, including imposing a death penalty, and torturing of its own citizens who were involuntarily returned to the country. The government of Ethiopia routinely imprisons such persons. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuses committed against individuals in Ethiopian prisons and other secret places of detention. This obligation, which is also a principle of customary international law, applies to both asylum seekers and refugees, as affirmed by UNHCR’s Executive Committee and the United Nations General Assembly.
By handing over the Ethiopian refugees and others, the Djibouti Government is breaching its obligations under international treaties as well as customary laws.
Under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1465 U.N.T.S. 185), Djibouti has the obligation not to return a person to a place where they face torture or ill-treatment. Article 3 of the Convention against Torture provides:
No state party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds to believe that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the state concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) is highly concerned about the safety and security of the refugees handed over to the Ethiopian Government and those Who are still living in Djibouti. It urges the Government of Djibouti to respect the international treaties and obligations. It also urges all human rights agencies (local, regional and international) to join hands with it and condemn these illegal and inhuman acts of both the Ethiopian and the Djibouti governments against defenseless refugees. It requests governments of the West and other international organizations to interfere so that the safety and security of the deported refugees to Ethiopia and of those refugees currently living in Djibouti would be secured.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government, concerned Ethiopian officials and to diplomatic representatives in Ethiopia who are accredited to your country as swiftly as possible, in English, expressing:
Your concern regarding the fear of torture of the returns who is being held in Diredawa detention center and different detention centers; and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;
Urging the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that these detainees would be treated in accordance with the regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners,
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: + 41 22 917 9022 (particularly for urgent matters)
African Commission on Human and Peoples‘ Rights (ACHPR)
48 Kairaba Avenue, P.O.Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia.
Tel: (220) 4392 962 , 4372070, 4377721 – 23
Fax: (220) 4390 764
Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights Council of Europe
F-67075 StrasbourgCedex, FRANCE
+ 33 (0)3 88 41 34 21
+ 33 (0)3 90 21 50 53
Contact us by email
U.S. Department of State
Tom Fcansky – Foreign Affairs Officer
Email;-TOfcansky@aol.com>Washington, D.C. 20037
Amnesty International Secretariat – London
Telephone: 44 20 74135500
Fax: 44 20 79561157
London, WC1X0DW, UK
Human Rights Watch – New York