February 13,1992

1. Introduction

The present report is the second one of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council, (EHRCO). The first one came out on December 12, 1991. In that report the details of 1106 prisoners, the arbitrary dismissal of 18 persons from three different organisations, the loss of human life and damage to property in armed conflicts in Harerghe and Arsi were noted. Moreover, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council has made a general statement on property: No person shall be deprived of his property without due process of law. For the most part, the present report covers the complaints received since December 12, 1992. It may be pointed out that the procedure adopted by the Ethiopian Human Rights Council was to send its reports first to the Transitional Government, making it public only after one week. But since the response of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was that because the necessary subsidiary laws have not been proclaimed yet, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council, like all organisations, does not yet have the legal personality. As a result they "found it difficult to respond" to the questions of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council. Therefore, the later has no choice but to make the report public without informing the Transitional Government in advance.

2. Hopeful Signs Of Due Process
Although the issues of human rights continue to be of much concern to all Ethiopians in various parts of the country, there are some positive signs which suggest a movement in the right direction. The Ethiopian Human Rights Council is pleased to point out the following new and positive developments: 2.1. Thousands of former officers of the armed forces were released from the prisons in Tolay, Hurso, Diddessa and Tateq.
2.2. Hundreds of WPE members who were imprisoned in Holeta have been released, although there are still many left.
2.3. Many of the military officers imprisoned with the high officials of the former regime in Sendafa have been released.
2.4. Perhaps the most promising development is the release of prisoners by court ruling. A few prisoners have already been released by court order. Among these are the three officials of the National Democratic Union.
2.5. It has been announced that some of the police force would be brought back to active duty. This was to have started on January 20, 1992. But there is still no sign of them on the streets. If it is implemented, this decision is another welcome sign because there is certainly a serious problem in the control and investigation of crimes.
2.6. It has also been announced that a Special Prosecution Office shall be established to screen and prosecute detainees. This, too, is a positive step.
2.7. The fact that there is at least a decision to provide uniform to the EPRDF militia may be one step forward introducing order and, therefore, one more positive sign. It should not be forgotten, however, that a good proportion of the EPRDF militia is made up of very young children, many as young as 14 years old, who should be in schools.
2.8. According to Ethiopian Herald (December 22, 1991), the Council of Representatives has ratified the United Nation's Convention on The Rights of the Child of November 20, 1989. This is indeed very welcome.
3. Disturbing Incidents

While the Ethiopian Human Rights Council is pleased to commend the developments described under 2. above, it is also its duty to report some of the disturbing incidents which suggest the contrary and tend to dim our hopes for the future. These are outlined below:
3.1. The most serious new development on the negative side of human rights in Addis Ababa has been an increasing number of persons who are shot and left on the streets for some time. This is a total disrespect for human life. The victims are often allegedly thieves or robbers who never have the benefit of due process of law. That one individual who happens to carry a gun could pronounce the death penalty and instantly administer the execution is very alarming. It is known that there is at least one case of killing which has nothing to do with stealing: for instance, Ato Birhane H. Mariam was killed by EPRDF militia on January 4, 1992 .The following specific instances have also been reported to the Ethiopian Human Rights Council:
3.1.1. Ishetu Alemayehu and Masresha Alemayehu, two brothers, were killed by Peace and Stability Committee on November 10, 1991 at 6.30 p.m. in Kefitegna 4, Qebele 50.
3.1.2. Demu Alemu was killed while guarding a car in front of Beddilu Building at 3:00 a.m. on December 26, 1991.
3.1.3. Alemayehu Kasa, a 17-year old boy was shot and seriously wounded by a Peace and Stability Committee member in Kefitegna 10, Qebele 05 on October 19, 1991. 3.1.4. Indeghena Taye was shot and wounded by a Peace and Stability Committee member at about 10 a.m. on December 11, 1991 in Kefitegna 21, Qebele 30.
3.2. Cases of torture in some of the prisons have been reported without any evidence. But we now have a very serious and disturbing case of torture which has been reported to the Ethiopian Human Rights Council. On Tahisas 19, 1984 (Dec. 29, 1990) at about 12:30 after midnight the EPRDF guards of the old Political School detained Ato Haileyesus Arefe-Ayne and beat him very badly.
3.3. There are also cases of invasion of private homes by armed militia during night hours.
3.4. All the high officials of the former government were moved from the Addis Ababa prison, the former political school, to Sendafa which is about 40 km. away. This move was especially hard on families and relatives who almost daily take food for the prisoners. Then, a selected number of these former high officials were brought back to Addis Ababa's famous Ma'ikelawi prison on Belay Zeleke road.

4. Detention Without Due Process Of Law

The Ethiopian Human Rights Council has expressed its stand on indefinite detention in very clear terms in various ways. There is nevertheless a persistent misunderstanding by some officials of the Transitional Government. We shall not be tired to repeat once again that it is not the stand of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council to defend crimes of any kind. We reiterate that persons who are detained should be brought to court in a short time, i.e. a few days. The courts then shall decide whether the detainees should be released, or released on bail, or be detained for a specified time. That is the due process of law. It is in that spirit that we report the following indefinite detentions. We plead for the implementation of the laws declared in the Charter by the Transitional government itself in order to alleviate the sufferings of the detainees and their families.

Place of Prison No. of Prisoners Alleged Reason
Addis Ababa Prison   231 Red Terror
Kef. 23, Qebele 10, A. A.   1 "
4th Division, A. A.   21 "
6th Police Station, A. A.   21 "
Aqaqi Police Station   13 Unknown
Alemghena Prison   10 "
5th Police Station, A. A.   1 Red Terror
Debre Birhan Prison   1 "
Prison, Near Teshale Garage   1 "
Debre Zeyit Prison   18 "
Awasa Police Station   1 "
Menzina Ghishe, Mehal Meda Prison   58 Unknown
Jimma Prison   1 "
3rd Police Station, A. A.   1 Red Terror
Holeta Prison   178 WPE Members
Holeta Prison   816 Security Personnel *
Qetena 4 Prison, A. A.   2 Unknown
Sendaffa Prison   250 Former Officials
Bahir Dar Prison   86 Unknown
Danghila (Gojjam) Prison   1 "
Awsa, Dubti Prison   8 Alleged Maladmin.

The total number of detainees outlined above comes to 1720.

* It has been brought to the attention of EHRCO that close to 100 of these former security personnel are kept separately under stricter conditions and some 30 others have been brought to Addis Ababa.
5. Disturbances Generated By Organisations

It is known that in the last six months the organisation of ethnic, and "nationality", groups has been promoted and as a result ethnic organisations have been proliferating throughout the country. The competition between these organisations, some of them armed, has caused considerable problem for peasants and urban dwellers in various parts of the country. We shall first report complaints from the organisations themselves:
5.1. IFLO, The Islamic Front for the Liberation of Oromos, has reported the following incidents:
5.1.1. Its Deputy Chairman, Sheik Abdurahman Yusuf and the Head of the Political Office, Izedin Mehammed Ahmed, were killed and five other members were wounded by EPRDF militia in Dire Dawa on January 18, 1992.
5.1.2. On December 12, 1991 one of its members, Abdulrazaq Mehammed, was killed and two others wounded, also in Dire Dawa. 5.1.3. Dr. Faisal Birru, Deputy Chief of the military wing, was detained in Asfaw Kasa Hotel and was found killed a few days later.
5.2. G.P.D.O., the Ghideo People's Democratic Organisation, reported the following:
5.2.1. The people in Dilla, Dema, Michele, Tumticha, Ghedeb, Cheleleqtu, Qoqe, Arram and Haru in Ghideo Awraja have been subjected to heavy artillery fire from the militia of EPRDF, as a result of which up to January 17, 1992, not less than 100 persons have been killed and hundreds wounded.
5.2.2. The wounded were prevented from having medical services.
5.2.3. Many houses have been burnt and many residents of the places cited in 5.2.1. have run away to safety leaving all their property.
5.2.4. Over 500 members and supporters of the Organisation are detained without the benefit of receiving any food from their relatives.
5.2.5. People are threatened to abandon GPDO and to join EPRDF's GPRDM.
5.3. The Sidamo Liberation Movement, SLM, has reported that on Hidar 27, 1984, the Chairman and his entourage were fired upon by EPRDF as a result of which one person died and two were wounded. Their vehicle was totally destroyed. The Ethiopian Human Rights Council would like to remind all organisations seeking political power two principles: First, they must all accept the sovereignty of the Ethiopian people, for that is the meaning of democracy. Armed conflict is anti-democracy. Second, in order to carry on necessary activities for their precarious living, the Ethiopian people need peace. The conflict between organisations is creating adverse conditions for peace and stability thereby making it difficult for people to carry on their normal economic activities. We therefore urge all organisations to refrain from violence and to settle their differences peacefully through democratic processes.

6. The Effects of Conflict Between Organisations

All information from various parts of the country seem to indicate that the rivalry and armed conflict organisations is causing considerable suffering to the peasants and much loss of their property. Summaries of some of these reports are outlined below:
6.1. Peasant association representatives from Fedis Awraja have reported to the Ethiopian Human Rights Council about their sufferings resulting from the conflict of various organisations which vie for their support. A large number of their livestock have been looted by the armed bands of these organisations.
6.2. Many persons from the tribe of Gabra in Yabelo Awraja have allegedly been killed by armed Boran groups and large numbers of livestock have been looted from them.
6.3. The Boran, on their part, report that some armed bands who infiltrated in Dololowachu, Liben Wereda, have caused the deaths of many persons and the breakdown of law and order in the area.
6.4. In Limu Awraja of Illubabor non-Oromo groups are under considerable pressure. They are forcefully disarmed, their money and their livestock are looted. Their churches, too, are looted and closed. Such churches include St. Michael in Ghicho, Kidane Mihret in Mana, and Medhane Alem in Qomba. Many are imprisoned. The reports indicate that non-Oromo groups are not allowed to trade between themselves, but only between them and Oromos. Moreover, they are not permitted to leave their villages and go to other towns to report their complaints.
6.5. In Gara Mulleta Awraja, Harerghe, the inhabitants of Ghirawa and Kurfa Chelle are surrounded by armed groups who do not allow them to leave the towns. CARE which had a relief project in the area has presently suspended its operations there.
6.6. In Neghele Wereda, Haiqoch and Butajira Awraja of southern Shewa many lives have been lost and much property looted and destroyed since Tahisas 8, 1984 (Dec. 18,1993) by conflicts instigated by some organisations.
6.7. In Arba Gugu Awraja of Arsi the situation detailed in the first report of EHRCO has not improved. In fact there are reports that indicate further deterioration.

7. Persons Denied Pension Rights

Pension in Ethiopia is administered by law. All civil servants and members of the armed forces are by law entitled to pension. Moreover, each government employee contributes a certain amount deductible from his/her salary during the time of service. If and when the person is incapacitated, even outside the line of duty the right to pension holds. But when a person is incapacitated in line of duty the right becomes even more imperative. Ordinary men and women who for different reasons found opportunities for employment under the previous regime must not be made to carry the burden of the sins of that regime. Both on legal and humanitarian grounds these persons, especially the disabled, deserve their pension.
The following grievances have been brought to the attention of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council:

7.1. Some 1500 war victims in Jegnoch Amba at Debre Zeyit report that they were asked to choose between living in the centre which is specifically constructed for the purpose of taking care of severely handicapped war victims or having their pensions and living out. Without the facilities of the Centre many of them will suffer much and may even die. At the same time they need their pensions for their families who live outside. It is a tragedy that such severely incapacitated people fail to arouse the sympathy of officials.
7.2. Some 400 war victims at the Qore Rehabilitation Centre in Addis Ababa are also denied their pension. Most of them have physical damage which is rated to be 60 to 80 %.
7.3. Some 353 members of the former armed forces are denied their pension rights.
7.4. Representatives of the former air force have been pleading with the Transitional Government for either employment opportunities or respect of their pension rights.
7.5. About 2000 former Addis Ababa policemen have also been requesting for either job opportunities or respect of their pension rights.
7.6. About 36 former Jimma policemen have a similar request as their fellow policemen from Addis Ababa.

8. Dismissal Of Employees Without Due Process

Employees of government organisations and institutions have been dismissed for alleged maladministration and corruption without any due process. The allegations are ascribed to the so-called grievances committees. Among the organisations and institutions affected are Tendaho Agricultural Corporation, the Addis Ababa Quarry, the Ethiopian Management Institute and the Addis Ababa Hilton. The Prime Minister's Office has recently issued a directive which is intended to avoid further violations of human rights. The grievances committees are not allowed by this directive to dismiss employees. This directive is commendable insofar as it prevents future violations of human rights. However, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council recommends the violations already committed be redressed in the spirit of the new directive.

9. Violations Of Property Rights

According to Article 17(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his/her property. In violation of this law many persons have been dispossessed of their property by EPRDF forces in various parts of the country. Among these are the following:
9.1. Weizero Felleqech G. Kristos's vehicle, a taxi with license No. 3-001933.
9.2. Weizero Beliyu Mulat's vehicle, a Datson, license No. 2-28665.
9.3. Weizero Assellefech Moltotal's vehicle, a Toyota, license No. 2-20371.

9.4. From Gojjam administrative region the following 22 (twenty-two) persons have been deprived of trucks belonging to them:
Names of Owners License No.

Ato Ahmed Adem 07438
Ato Temesghen Molla 13228
Ato Adem Seid 06422
Ato Shama Abeje 09801
Ato Isleman Adem 12408
Ato Mulugheta Tefera 04458
Ato Deres Menghistu 00612
15.Wr. Tiberih Ambaye 09184
Ato Tareqegn Dese 08970
16.Ato Leghese Tekle 03519
Ato Usman Shafiro 08073
17. Ato Melaku Bayeh 05124
Ato Mehammed Abraham 12705
18.Wr. Hareghe-Wein Yilma 07062
Ato Abdir Mehammed 12252
19.Ato Ghebeyehu Sherifo 07273
Ato Yitayew Ghebre 12373
20. Ato Ghetinnet Adem 07154
Ato Yitayew Ghebre 09340
21. Ato Kasa Beqele 08813
Ato Mehammed Dawid 12606
Ato Yohannis 00019


The Ethiopian Human Rights Council wishes to stress that the officials of the Provisional Government first take note of the fact that the violations enumerated above are based on the Universal Declaration of Human rights which is accepted "without any limitation" by the Charter; second, that the respect for human rights is the foundation for peace and democracy. Therefore, we urge them to do their utmost to improve conditions and to create a climate of confidence and the rule of law. The Ethiopian Human Rights Council, on its part, is always prepared to participate and contribute its share in any effort to resolve problems by peaceful and legal means. It stands for peace, democracy and the rule of law. The Ethiopian Human Rights Council requests all individuals, human rights and humanitarian organisations, international agencies and religious institutions to support and promote the cause of human rights, the democratic process and the rule of law in Ethiopia.