NY/NJ Ethiopians Task Force
Note: Ethiopia is a current member of Human Rights Council of the United Nations
Below is a translation based on a letter obtained from one brave Ethiopian among many victims who have fallen into the hands of the terrorist regime of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) currently ruling Ethiopia.
My name is Abebe Kassie, I am a forty-one-year-old from Armachoho Woereda in Northern Gonder. I am currently in Kilinto prison in the Akaki area.
I was imprisoned by the TPLF on the 20th of January 2014, and I was immediately taken to Maekelawi prison, located in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. For most of the five months I spent in Maekelawi(four months and twenty-five days) I was kept in solitary confinement in a dark and a very cold room.
Here are some of the things that were done to me by TPLF cadres at the notorious Maekelawi prison:
- All my fingernails and toenails were completely extracted. The pain was extremely unbearable. However, I was repeatedly injected with anesthesia, and there were times when I did not even feel what was done to me until I woke up the next day.
- They tied up my hands and legs and left me standing up for hours and hours in a very cold room, and then they threw me like a garbage bag into a very dark and insect infested hole and left me there for a long time.
- They kept me upside down for a long time until I lost my consciousness.
- I have been left tied to a chair for an extended period of time.
- Some of the interrogators are women, and I have seen them smoke something which I think is a drug to make them lose their feelings of humanity. They kept me naked and they also undressed themselves. There are some things they did to me that I will never speak of due to my culture and tradition.
- Those women would at times tie my hands up and then tie a string holding a bottle of water onto my testicles. Then they would kick the bottle, generating an excruciating pain.
Because of what those women did to me, I am unable to control my urine and I do not think I will ever be able to have sexual intercourse. I believe my god given reproducing ability was taken from me.
The TPLF interrogators were doing all of the above to force me to tell them of others who work with me and to get secrets that they think I have on an opposition group called Ginbot-7. They also wanted to force me to tell them where I was trained.
Once they were done with me at Maekelawi, they transferred me to Kilinto. At Kilinto they warned other prisoners not to get close to me. Due to the extreme torture I endured, I was unable to walk on my own, which forced me to use a stick to help me walk, but they even took that stick away from me.
At Kilinto, I was given a sleeping place right next to a bathroom with strong smell of urine and feces. The stench was unbearable, and as a result I did ask to be moved away from the bathroom, but I was told that even that was too good a place for me.
At one point, I couldn’t move at all and some of the younger cadres decided to take me to a hospital. As they were taking me to the hospital, they were telling me that they were doing me a big favor, as they think I deserve to die. There were times when they intentionally put me in a cell where I was sexually assaulted by men.
They did all these things as revenge, and they did their best to negatively affect my mental health. Most of the prisoners are going through similar punishment. However, we are still strong, and we will not give up.
I suffered because I stood up for Ethiopian unity, I suffered because I demanded for equal rights in my own country. I want my Ethiopian brothers and sisters to know that I was ready to sacrifice myself when I joined the struggle. Sadly, this happened to be my destiny.
Translated from Amharic by: NY/NJ Ethiopians Task Force (www.ethionynj.com)
The united Nations convention on human rights refers to article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The fact that such a tortures regime in Ethiopian serves as a member of the Human Rights Council of The United Nations raises a question as to whether the united nations seriously cares about human rights in third world countries like Ethiopia.