THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN ETHIOPIA
SIXTH REPORT
January 4, 1994

1. Introduction

The situation in Ethiopia today forces us to say a few words on peace and to state the position of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council on the issue. There are those who believe that the evidence for the existence of peace is the absence of 'the clash of resounding arms.' A condition of true peace is much more than the absence of armed struggle. True peace lies in the minds and hearts of people. Peace is also freedom from fear and worry. Peace is a condition that enables people to have long term plans with confidence and to utilise their physical, intellectual and spiritual resources. Peace is confidence in the rule of law and in due process. The facts detailed below do not seem to suggest that such conditions for peace are established in Ethiopia today.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Council, therefore, supports any effort towards durable peace. We support any peaceful debate or discussions between persons, political parties and organisations that have different views and to leave the verdict to the Ethiopian people. To coerce or to attempt to coerce members of other political parties to become informers is not only unfair, but also violates the rights of individuals. The creation of any obstacle for the efforts made for peace and reconciliation does not help the Ethiopian people. We stand together with other forces of peace and demand the immediate release of those persons who came for the peace and reconciliation conference and were arrested.
There are some developments in the area of religion that need to be corrected before they create more serious problems. The freedom of religious practice with equality for all religions and without any interference, especially armed interference, by the government is most desirable. If and when the Church cannot cope with certain problems with its own internal mechanism, it could be advised to follow proper legal channels. But government's direct interference in the business of the Church and harassment and detention of preachers and clergymen is uncalled for. Such action violates the freedom of religious practice. There are still some clergymen in prison, and none have been tried.
It is not possible to state with confidence that the situation in Ethiopia with respect to the democratic process, the rule of law and due process and the respect of human rights has been improving since the issuance of the Fifth Report. In connection with the democratic process the rights given in the Charter are openly violated under the pretext of "illegal assembly" or "illegal demonstration." The campaign against the private press is violating those rights that the Charter accepts "without any condition." In fact the livelihood of small children who sell newspapers is threatened as a result of the indirect pressure on the private press.
As regards the rule of law and due process it is not yet possible to state with confidence that this is established in Ethiopia. There are still people who are languishing in jail without any charge brought against them, without the right to present their defence and without being sentenced by any court. Moreover, there are also many persons who have been released by court order but who remain in jail for several months.
The details of this Sixth Report will show that the violation of human rights has not shown a marked abatement. But the most troublesome fact is that so far the Transitional Government has not taken any legal step against any violators of human rights. The Sixth Report covers complaints received by the Ethiopian Human Rights Council from 24 May 1993 to 9 November 1993. There may be cases that have not been reported to the Ethiopian Human Rights Council. All the cases in this Report are sufficiently investigated by the Ethiopian Human Rights Council. Moreover, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council would like to state that the names of the extra-judicial killings as well as of those who have disappeared had been submitted to the Ministry of Interior for verification on 10 December 1993 and no response has been received to date.

2. Extra-Judicial Killings

The persons whose names are listed below are reportedly killed by EPRDF forces.

Name Of Deceased Place Killed Date Killed
Baby Mulugheta Teshome   A.A. W.2 Q.09   29/05/91
Ato Ghirma Endale   Aqaqi-K.2 Q.03   19/07/91
Ato Tamiru Birhanu   Ghimbi-Homa   26/06/92
Ato Chewaqa Gudina   Ghimbi-Homa   28/06/92
Ato Wenddimu Bulcha   Delo Gambella   08/09/92
Ato Isachew Fituma   Delo Gambella   08/09/92
Stu. Wendiye Haile   A.A. W.14 Q.18   10/04/93
Priest Ghetachew Ashagre   Dese-K.2 Q.05   12/04/93
Stu. Zigabachew Alemayehu   Chole Guna-Moyo Abo - (Arsi)   18/04/93
Stu. Abraham Basazinew   A.A. W.9 Q.09   24/04/93
Stu. Sisay Beqele   A.A. W.9 Q.09   24/04/93
Lt. Qitaw Lemma   D/Zeit K.2 Q.03   02/05/93
Ato G/Egziabiher H/Michael   A.A. W.19 Q.54   20/05/93
Ato Antenayehu Kibret   Mafud - Agamber   27/06/93
Ato Shigut Kibret   Mafud - Agamber   27/06/93
Ato Semu Kibret   Mafud - Agamber   27/06/93
Ato Birru Wube   Mafud Tare PA.   01/07/93
Ato Fettene Kefalegn   Mafud Kasaye Agher   05/07/93
Ato Demisew Zewde   Shewa Robit, K.01   09/07/93
Ato Hailiye Abbawiqaw   Mojo   10/07/93
Ato Dammenu Yighezu   Mafud-Gure Qebele   11/07/93
Ato Zelalem Yigzaw   Tempi- K.01   12/07/93
Stu. Amiha Teferra   Yaya Gulele- Daleit   16/07/93
Ato Abbebe Sebsibe   Mafud-Kurkur Qebele   24/07/93
Ato Ghezme Lenga   Oddo- Gulgula >>   31/07/93
Stu. Bantam Bekelel   A.A. W.18 Q.33   27/08/93
Priest Mehari Alemayehu   Meqele-"Abo"church   08/09/93
Aba Zemichael   Meqele-"Abo"church   08/09/93


3. The Gonder Massacre

On Monday September 7, 1993 a large crowd of believers had gathered at Adebabay Eyesus, in the city of Gonder. Security forces who were trying to arrest Abba Amiha Eyesus, a hermit, opened fire on the crowd. The Ethiopian Human Rights Council has so far verified 18 deaths and 17 wounded. Large numbers of persons are still detained in Bahta Prison, the Palace, Police stations and other places. Even if Aba Amiha Eyesus had violated any law, there were better ways of apprehending him. To look for him in a crowd of thousands of people who had gathered to pray and cause such harm to many is irresponsible. This action of EPRDF forces contravenes Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the freedom of religion, worship and teaching. Any doctrinal problem within the Church, if there is such a problem, should be left to the Church and does not invite any military intervention on such a scale. Had the right to practice one's religion been respected, it would have saved the lives of many innocent citizens. Abba Amiha Eyesus himself has been in prison since and no charges have been brought against him.

The following are the names of the dead and wounded:
3.1. Persons Killed - 3.2. Persons Wounded
1. Aba K/Micheal Worqu - 1. W/Ghiyorghis Ghebru
2. Ato Tseghaw Menberu - 2. Ahmed Hamad
3. Yaltaye Muqe Negash - 3. Tsegaye G/Sillase
4. Negash Mihrete - 4. Sintayehu Teshome
5. Molla Muche - 5. Ayalew Asres
6. Kifle H/Mariam - 6. Alebachew Tesemma
7. Yemane Birhan - 7. Ayalew Asres
8. Widu Mersha - 8. Alebachew Tesemma
9. Abbebe Birhanu - 9. Feqadu Masresha
10. Asmaru Fente - 10. Tewodros Ishete
11. Bazezew Maleda - 11. Amiha Abbebe
12. G/Amlak Ghebeyaw - 12. Daniel Nigusse
13. Zera Buruk - 13. Teshome Inghidaw
14. Feqadu Aseffa - 14. Niguse G/Michael
15. Wendimu Ghetinet - 15. Niguse Fenta
16. Eniyew Werqe - 16. Semere Tesfahun
17. Wesenseghed Mersha - 17. Shibabaw Guangul
18. Tsegha Zeab

4. Prisoners Who Died In Detention

In its Fifth Report the Ethiopian Human Rights Council had revealed the names of four young persons who were detained under an allegation of being thieves and who had subsequently died in prison in Ziway. Now, it has been reported to the Ethiopian Human Rights Council that the following 35 young persons have also died in different prisons.

No.   Name of Prisoners   Name of Prison Date
1   Aberra Anbese   Ziway Prison 03/07/92
2   Fasil Werreta   >> 20/07/92
3   Yownadan Teka   >> 21/07/92
4   Petros Tesfaye   >> 02/08/92
5   Teferra Sitotaw   >> >>
6   Tewodros Abbebe   >> 25/09/92
7   Demsis Kebbede   Aqaqi Police Station 26/09/92
8   Yajib Aman   Ziway Prison 06/10/92
9   Feqadu Werqu   >> 09/10/92
10   Dereje Aberra   >> >>
11   Ghirma Ghetachew   >> 10/10/92
12   Ahmed Abegaz   >> >>
13   Hailu Ararso   >> 11/10/92
14   Birhanu Demmeqe   >> 14/10/92
15   Birhane Mesqel Mihrete   >> 15/10/92
16   K/Mikael H/Sillase   >> 20/10/92
17   Abush Ghetachew   Shewa Robit Prison 22/10/92
18   Sisay Bellihu   Ziway Prison 26/10/92
19   Habtamu Alemu   >> 02/11/92
20   Selomon Ghirma   >> 04/11/92
21   Buruk H/Mesqel   >> 06/11/92
22   Yohannis Kidane   >> 11/11/92
23   Hiywet Amanuel   >> 27/11/92
24   Kedir Forsida   >> 30/11/92
25   Tibebu T/Mikael   >> 12/01/93
26   Dereje Siyum   >> 14/01/93
27   Chala Dinqu   Ziway Prison 23/01/93
28   Mulugheta Ghemechu   >> 18/02/93
29   Demisu Hailu   A.A. Prison 26/02/93
30   Daniel Teferi   Ziway Prison 16/03/93
31   Mekuria W/Michael   >> 19/03/93
32   Mesfin Zewde   >> 18/04/93
33   Qidus Taddese   Ziway Prison 07/05/93
34   Teklu Araya   A.A. W.23 Police Station 14/08/93
35   Ashenafi Bogale   Shewa Robit Prison 17/08/93


5. Persons Wounded By Bullets

The following persons have been reportedly shot and wounded by EPRDF forces at different places and at different times. Two of the three wounded were shot inside a church in Meqele, Tigray.

  Persons Injured Date Place
1   Yasin Omar   03/07/93 A.A. W.23 Q.16
2   Prist Ashebbir G/Yesus   03/09/93 Meqele, Abo Church
3   Prist Tsegaye Berhe   03/09/93 Meqele, Abo Church


6. Detainees Whose Whereabouts Are Unknown

According to the law, any person has the right to be told where he shall be detained and for what reason he is being detained. Even in cases where the person may be found guilty of crime, there is no ground for punishing his family through daily worry and expectation of the worst. That makes disappearances both illegal and inhuman. Persons whose names and addresses are outlined below have disappeared as of the dates indicated against their names.

  Name of the Disappeared Place Date Duration of Disappearance
1   Ato Retta Mosisa   A.A W.5   19/07/92   1yr.6mon.14 days  
2   Maj. K/Mariam   A.A W.20, Q.51   30/03/93   9mon.05 days  
3   Maj. Bisrat Filfilu   A.A W.20, Q.28   31/03/93   9mon 04 days  
4   Ato Waquma Seboqa   A.A W.5   06/05/93   7mon 28 days  
5   Ato Lema Hailu   A.A W.8   07/05/93   7mon 27 days  
6   Ato Feyisa Berecha   A.A W.5   26/05/93   7mon 08 days  
7     Ato Ghirma Mekonnin Gojjam-Merto Lemariam   16/06/93   6mon 17 days
 
8   S/Lt. Ghirma Asfaw   A.A. W.4   16/09/93   3 mon 20 days  
9   Ato Ghetinet Asnaqe   A.A W.16   18/09/93   3 mon 18 days  
10   Ashenafi Menghistu   A.A W.14   19/09/93   3 mon 17 days  
11   Birhanu Guddeta   A.A W.23 Q.15   9/09/93   3 mon 17 days  
12   Cor. Inanu Koru   A.A W.24 Q.16   01/10/93   3 mon 5 days  
13   Priest Abebe Ghirma   A.A W.24 Q.16   1/10/93   3 mon 5 days  

7. Illegal Detention

Contrary to Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights persons are being detained for a long time without due process. In its Third Report the Ethiopian Human Rights Council had indicated 2147 such prisoners, in its Fourth Report 433 such prisoners, and in its Fifth Report 494 in different prisons in various parts of the country. The present list does not include those in previous reports.

Name of Prison - No. of Prisoners
Bahir Dar Prison - 1
A.A. W.21 Police Station - 1
A.A. Prison - 6
A.A. W.22 Police Station - 6
Asella Police H.Q. - 77
Cheha Wereda - 22
Qallitti Prison - 20
Nazret Prison - 1
Ghimbi Prison - 1
Bodditti Police Station - 45
A.A. W.23 Police Station - 2
Areka Police Station - 53
Sendaffa Prison - 1
Jimma Prison - 26
Wenago Police Station - 1
Indibir Police Station - 2
Gobba Prison - 156
Ambo Police Station - 1
Weliso Prison - 26
Meqele Prison - 3
Bonga Prison - 75
Beddelle Prison - 3
Fiche Prison - 57
Shewa Robit Prison - 5
Ziway Prison - 4
A.A. W.15 Police Station - 11
Central Prison - 23
Nazret Police Station - 7
A.A. W.14 Police Station - 26
Jinqa Prison - 6
A.A. W.4 Police Station - 3
Jinqa Police Station - 18
Mastenagheja - 1
Aykel Prison (Gonder) - 2
Yirga Alem Police Station - 14
Weliso Police Station - 4
Aseko Police Station (Arsi) -40
Asella 2nd Police Station - 5
Wolayita Soddo Police Station -86
Neqemte Police H.Q. - 4
Awasa Police Station - 1
Dese 2nd Police Station - 9
Jimma Police H.Q. - 4
Tenta Wereda - 4
Limo Police Station - 3
Gobba Police Station - 5
Dese Prison - 632
Ghinnir Police Station - 1
Ambalaghe Police Station (Adisheho) -15
Gasera Police Station - 2
D/Marqos Prison - 1
Robe Police Station - 1
A.A. W.13 Police Station - 20
Hurso Military Camp - 15
Holeta Prison - 2
Awasa Prison - 146
D/Marqos Police Station - 1
Meqele- Qebele 09 - 2
Chelo-Guna W. Police Station - 23
Mehoni Police Station - 21
A.A W. 9 Police Station - 1
Edaga Hamus Police Station - 9
A.A Criminal investigation - 2
Jato PA.Becho (W/Shewa) - 50
Allamata Prison - 202
Navy H.Q. - 3
Maichaw Prison - 10
Gonder Prison - 3
Kwiha W. P. Station - 2
A.A. W.3 Police Station - 6
Grand Total - 2041

8. Defiance Of Court Order

Where there is the rule of law it is the duty of every one to obey the order of the courts immediately and without delay. Contrary to this principle the following persons still languish in different prisons in spite of court orders to release them. In many cases when court orders are given for their release, the prisoners are taken to another prison instead of being freed. The following persons remain in detention three to seven months after court orders for their release. There is no better evidence than this for the fact that the rule of law and due process are not respected by the authorities. The institution of a procedure which will allow the authorities to keep prisoners in detention for unlimited time under the legal cover that charges are in the process of being formulated against them, and the institution of a law which abrogates the law requiring definite limit of time for detention without charge are frequently violating provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Charter accepts "without any conditions." This proclivity to bend due process to suit particular circumstances is extremely harmful. In particular, this procedure has almost totally disabled the writ of habeas corpus. It is becoming clear now that no person may expect quick settlement on any legal problem. There is hardly greater violation of human rights than the denial of efficient and effective due process.

Name of Prisoner Court which gave the Order File No. Date of Order Responsible Authority
Cap.Ghetachew Ferrede   Central H.Court 12/85   11/06/93   SPO
Lt. Birhanu Tesemma   >> 1267/85   14/06/93   SPO
Dr. Asmamaw Qelemu   >> 1255/85   16/06/93   SPO
Cap. Ghetu Teferra   >> 1219/85   18/06/93   SPO
Ato Niguse Merid   >> 1258/85   18/06/93   SPO
Cap.Fasika Senay   >> 1264/85   18/06/93   SPO
Ato Belew Teshal   >> 1276/85   01/07/93   SPO

9. Harassment of Political Parties

One of the most important indications of a democratic process is the freedom of different political parties to express their different views and convictions to the people. Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Charter accepts "without any conditions," states categorically the rights of every person to participate directly or indirectly through his/her representative in the government of his/her country and that all persons should have equal access to all public services. Two questions may be raised. The first is: are we really laying down the foundations for a democratic order? The second one is: are the public media such as radio and television available to all political parties on a fair and equal basis? The following cases will give some clue to the answers of these questions.

9.1. NDU (National Democratic Union)

NDU is one of the first parties that was established in accordance with the provisions of the Charter. It was very dynamic until all three top officials of the party were thrown in jail in December 1991 for about three months. Now it is not as active as it used to be. Nevertheless, on September 18, 1986 at about 5.30 p.m. Ato Firesew Felleke, member of the Central Committee, was walking to his home in Wereda 5, Qebele 17. He was hit with a car with plate No. A.A. 2-17485 and forced into the car. He was then taken somewhere and beaten with pistol butts. He was then blindfolded and taken to a prison where his hands and feet were tied with electric wire which has now become common. He was beaten on the sole of his feet. Ato firesew was taken to three different prisons where he received similar treatment. Finally, he was taken to Maikelawi (Central Investigation Department). His family never knew of his whereabouts until after he spent 42 days in prison. Now he is released.

9.2. E.D.U. (Ethiopian Democratic Union)

E.D.U. is one of the oldest political parties led by His Highness Ras Mengesha Siyum of the Royal House of Tigray. Although EDU is not an ethnic party it has its base in Tigray and Gonder regions. Since July of 1993 members of EDU in Tigray have been suffering much injustice. Some forty members from mainly Inderta, Kilite Awla'ilo and Rayya and Azebo provinces had come to Addis Ababa to express their grievances. The Ethiopian Human Right Council, realising the gravity of the case, attempted to have the problem resolved quietly. It may also be stated that this problem of E.D.U. members from Tigray is widely known to the diplomatic community in Addis Ababa. The attempt of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council to resolve the problem quietly was not successful. After the people went back to Tigray the harassment they were subjected to was redoubled and they came back to Addis Ababa in larger numbers, close to sixty persons. A few were forced to change their political affiliation to TPLF. The list of the grievances of these poor people, mostly peasants, is long and varied. Even the church seems to be closed to them: they cannot christen their children, they are not allowed to have the normal Christian ceremony and burial. There is no such thing as free market for them, for nobody is allowed to sell to them or buy from them. Whenever they participate in the communal work, they are discriminated against and are not paid; but whenever they are absent they pay heavy fines and are sometimes imprisoned. Occasionally they are made to parade in the streets as "EDU criminals" so that others will not have any dealings with them. Sometimes they are even sentenced to death by TPLF cadres in front of a large gathering of people who manage to save their lives. They are denied the right to work on their own land, and their livestock are not allowed to graze on communal grazing grounds. Their wives are constantly ordered to divorce them and leave them. When relief food is being distributed they sign for the number of family members, but they receive only one share, the rest going to TPLF. Among the people there is one who lost his teeth when he was being beaten and another one whose house was burnt. The problem that the members of E.D.U. encounter in relation to the Church clearly violates freedom of religion. It is necessary for the Church to make its stand clear on the issue in order to avoid any misunderstanding and suspicion. Recently EDU members have also come from Gonder and Kembata. The one from Gonder is a young man who had bruises in many parts of his body. His captors were enjoying themselves by jabbing him with hot bayonets.
Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Charter accepts "without condition" states that every person has the right and the freedom to assemble and to form an association of his/her choice and that no one should be forced to join any association or party. It is clear that EDU does not have the freedom to move and enlarge its membership. The plight of these people from Tigray has been repeatedly told by the private newspapers, but never by the public media. What is repeatedly stated by the public media is the view of TPLF concerning these people. The problem these people face is not only a legal one, it is also humanitarian.

9.3. IFLO (Islamic Front For The Liberation Of (Oromiya)

9.3.1. Detention And Beating

Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that no one shall be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and Article 12 prohibits any interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence. The persons whose names are listed below suffered the most cruel treatment in their own home, in front of their wives and children.

1. Ato Mehammed Chello
2. Wro. Yosina Usman Umer
3. Ato Abduljebar Ahmed Abdulwehab
4. Ato Muhabba Mohammed Ali
5. Wt. Zehara Adem Yobib
6. Ghennet Merghia Welbiro
7. Ato Amin Chello Abdullahi

The home of Ato Mehammed Chello(Wereda 23, Qebele 12, House No. 941 in Addis Ababa) was converted into a prison for three days, from September 25 starting at about 5:15 a.m. until September 27, 1993. A group of armed persons belonging to EPRDF occupied the home, alleging that Ato Mehammed has hidden certain individuals they were looking for and demanding to know their whereabouts. Ato Mehammed and three other men were tied tightly with ropes and beaten in front of their family members. The rope with which their hands were tied and the beating has caused severe damage to their bodies. They are still under treatment. Ato Mehammed Chello is a member of the Central Committee of IFLO and a member of the Council of Representatives of the Transitional Government.

9.3.2. The Massacre At Jarso Wereda (Harerghe)

IFLO has alleged that on September 5, 1993 EPRDF forces opened fire at a gathering of peasants when the people failed to meet their demands to produce certain wanted individuals. The result is 26 persons killed and 12 wounded. The names of those killed and wounded are listed below. Seven of the 26 killed are women.

9.3.2.1. Persons Killed

Ato Abdurahman Abdi
Ato Amin Esmael
Ato Ahmed Mume
Wro. Amina Husen
Ato Alye Abdi
Ato Bontu Husen
Wro. Fatuma Ahmed
Wro. Nuriya Ali
Ato Husen Ahmed
Wro. Kedija Osman
Ato Husen Abdulkerim
Ato Yesuf Abdullahi
Ato Jemal Ibrahim
Ato Nejib Adem
Ato Jemal Mohammed
Ato Mohammed Tehir
Ato Jemal Yesuf
Ato Omer Ahmed
Ato Indris Musa
Ato Tahira Abdullah
Wro. Hindaye Ali
Ato Mohammed Abdi
Wro. Zehara Yesuf
Ato Zako Husen
Wro. Zeyneba Husen
Ato Mustefa Abdi

9.3.2.2. Persons Wounded

Mejid Adam
Mohammed Husen
Adam Ali
Bahudin Abdule
Abdella Ahmedi
Husen Ali
Osman Yesuf
Mustefa Yoji
Farqan Abdule
Ahmed Ali
Husen Alisho
Husen Ali

9.4. AAPO (All Amhara People's Organisation)

The campaign of harassment against AAPO in general which started in January, 1993 changed its form into harassment of the members by detention and false charges. No person or a political party is above and beyond the law. If, therefore, the members of AAPO have committed certain crimes they should be brought to justice through proper legal procedures. If such were the procedure, it would have not been necessary to constantly detain members of AAPO for investigation for weeks, and sometimes months without trial. Professor Asrat Weldeyes, the President of AAPO, was arrested at least twice, the last time for over 40 days, and for different charges. He has posted bail twice and so far nothing has been determined yet. The witnesses of the prosecution in one of the charges testified in court that they have never seen the person before. It is now nearly a year since the whole affair started. How long is Professor Asrat's right to remain suspended? Ato Hailu Shawil, the Vice President of AAPO, too, has been summoned for investigation by the police in November 1993 and is now on bail. Colonel Ghetahun Ijigu, another official of AAPO, was detained for the second time and is still under detention. The Secretary General of AAPO, Major Ghetachew Menghiste and the Head of Administration, Ato Sileshi Mulat and many other members of AAPO are in prison without charge. The attempt to protest against such grievances by demonstration at Mesqel Square was prevented by Region 14's threatening intervention.
The public media are constantly expressing the official version against AAPO but never AAPO's response to the allegations. Putting all this together it is clear that AAPO does not have the freedom to act as a political organisation on equal right with the ruling party. The attempt to frustrate AAPO has not stopped at denying it freedom of action. There was also an attempt to sabotage the organisation from within. Ato Getachew Wedajo who is the Chairman of AAPO in the Bole Area of Addis Ababa was recruited as a double agent for EPRDF with threats if he did not collaborate. This is clear violation of Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

10. Region 14's Refusal To Allow Rallies And Demonstrations

In accordance with the Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Charter accepts without any condition and in accordance with Proclamation No.3/1992, the rights of persons to assemble peacefully and to hold demonstration are guaranteed. The only obligation of persons organising such meetings and demonstrations is to inform the authorities so that law and order shall be maintained.

10.1. The Demonstration Called By AAPO

AAPO had called a demonstration for July 31, 1993 at Mesqel Square. But on July 30, Region 14 put out a notice through the public media prohibiting the planned demonstration and warning of severe consequences that might follow if the rally took place against the order. The reason given was the presence of persons who were on hunger strike in Mesqel Square. On July 31 some persons who had not heard of the prohibition order gathered at Mesqel Square and were dispersed by armed police.

10.2. The Demonstration Called By The Citizens Committee For Economic Rights

The Committee called a demonstration on 9 November 1993 and was not allowed. But the Citizens Committee, nevertheless, went ahead with its planned demonstration. At least three days before the planned demonstration the Chairman of the Committee, Ato Yishaq Kifle, and some other were detained. Ato Yishaq was released after about three hours. On the day of the demonstration Ato Yishaq and several others were again detained for at least three days. The planned demonstration really never took place, because the police were out in large numbers to prevent it.

11. Government Intervention In The Formation of Trade Unions And Professional Associations

Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Charter accepts without any condition clearly states that all persons have the right to assemble peacefully and to establish associations. Whether at the level of the region or central government level the attempt to influence these private associations is becoming evident. Why was it necessary for the government to establish a "Commission" to organise trade unions? Why is it that this "Commission" had problems with many trade unions? Freedom to organise means that the workers may on their own initiative and free will organise themselves in accordance with the law and without any interference from the government. It is very difficult to talk of freedom of organisation when a representative of the government sits in the meetings of workers and even give directives to the workers. It may be necessary to point out that the government is still the largest employer of workers. Secondly, when workers' leaders do not follow the desired political line they are branded with all sorts of misdeeds and even publicly incriminated and dismissed from their jobs, we do not see a condition for forming free associations. Trade Unions and professional associations are not enabled to be led by their freely elected leaders and to be active in promoting their interests, because the leaders are harassed, intimidated, imprisoned or dismissed from their jobs. We shall provide a few examples below.

11.1. Aqaqi Textile And Fibre Factory Workers Union

The workers in this factory have had great difficulty in having their elected officials accepted by the government. They still have problems of registration and are also not allowed to join the National Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions.

11.2. The Workers Of The Commercial Bank Of Ethiopia

On September 23, 1993 the Office of the Prime Minister gave a statement which was broadcast over radio and television on the workers of the Bank. It stated that some 76 of them who were engaged in various "fraudulent" actions had been dismissed from their work. This statement from the Prime Minister's office is completely outside the law of the country. First, if, as stated by the Prime Minister's office, the workers of the bank had committed such gross crimes they should have been charged, brought to the appropriate courts and tried. To label them criminals before the verdict and dismiss them from their work is to act outside the law. Second, if the Prime Minister's office takes such radical and illegal action the workers lose any recourse to administrative appeal. Third, to pronounce them "criminals" without any court ruling and dismiss them is to deny the workers even the possibility of employment outside the bank.

11.3. The Ethiopian Teachers Association

The Ethiopian Human Rights Council had already in its Fifth Report indicated the problems encountered by the Ethiopian Teachers Association. The obstacles created not only in the centre but also in the regions have practically disabled the Ethiopian Teachers Association to function normally and freely. Even if there are differences between the members of the Association, it would have been more appropriate to encourage them to resolve differences freely rather than siding with one group, as the government is now doing. The Ministry of Interior's registration of a new Ethiopian Teachers Association when the old one still exists is designed to complicate the problem. As a result the two groups are now engaged in a difficult court case. Moreover, the members of the old Association are harassed, intimidated and imprisoned in various parts of the country.

The following is a list of members of Ethiopian Teachers Association who have been dismissed from their jobs as well as those who are in detention.

11.3.1. Officials of ETA who have been dismissed from their jobs
Teacher Mulugheta W/Qirqos
Teacher Tsegaye Hunde
Teacher Ketema Belachew
Dr. Taye W/Semayat
Teacher Mesfin Mengistu
Teacher Ghemoraw Kasa
Teacher Ayke Asfaw
Teacher Shimellis Zewde
Teacher Yohanns Tola
Teacher Adinew Ghetahun
Teacher Alemayehu Melake
Teacher Abeta Anghure
Teacher Aweqe Mulugheta
Teacher Aseffa Maru
Teacher Sira Bizu
Teacher Abate Anghure
Teacher Eyassu Albezo
Teacher Ghebeyaw Niguse
TeacherEshetu Deneqe
Teacher Ghetachew Feyisa

11.3.2. Members of ETA in prison in different part of the country
Name Of Prison - No. of Prisoners
A.A. W.3 Police Station - 6
Neqemte Police Station - 4
Nazret Police Station - 7
Dese 2nd Police Station - 9
Jinka Prison - 6
Tenta Police Station - 4
Jinka Police Station - 18
Gobba Police Station - 5
Gonder Prison - 3
Gobba Prison - 2
Aykel Police Station - 2
Ghinnir Police Station - 1
Weliso Wereda Police Station - 4
Gasera Police Station - 2
Asella 2nd Police Station - 5
Robe Police Station - 1
Jimma Zone Police Station - 5
Grand Total - 84

12. Freedom Of The Press

One of the fundamental freedoms recognised by the Charter is freedom of the press. In this respect, with the exception of the freedom in Addis Ababa University during the regime of Atse Haile Sillase, the Ethiopian people have never had the experience of the freedom of the press as now. The value and power of the freedom of the press is to bring out into the open differences between individuals and groups and to sharpen their ideas in a peaceful atmosphere. The fact that in such a situation differences come out in the open should neither surprise nor frighten us. What we observe now is a tendency of a press law that stifles the fundamental freedom granted by the Charter, especially Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The press law is in direct contradiction to the Charter which is of a higher order. As a result the members of the private press are almost daily bombarded by the government media and are subjected to all forms of harassment, including detention. Like all new opportunities, freedom needs to be cultivated in practice. The gross injustice is that the government media seem to be immune to the press law that is used for harassing the editors, reporters, publishers, photographers and even the newspaper vendors of the private newspapers.

12.1. The Free Press

Using the opportunity provided in the Charter numerous private newspapers and magazines have flooded the country. There is no doubt the people are benefiting from these newspapers. If they did not, they would not have bought them and made the business profitable. Ethiopians are now able to know various opinions on different issues whether in national or international affairs. One of the greatest services provided by the free press is that of dispelling doubts, rumours and speculations which undermine stability and confidence. It is helping the people to see the truth from different angles and contributing its share to the establishment of the democratic process. Such efforts should be encouraged by the government instead of being stifled. The present tendency of the government to muzzle the free press is not going to help the goals of the Ethiopian people for the democratic process, the rule of law and due process and for respect of human rights. We urge that the present negative attitude of the government toward the free press be ended. At present the publisher and the Editor of the Tobia newspaper are languishing in prison without being charged and convicted. The following is a list of members of the free press who are in prison, released on bail, and investigated and released on bail.

12.1.1. Members of the free press in prison

1. Ato Tefera Asmare - Ethiopis Ghazeta
2. Ato Eskindir Nega - Ethiopis GhazetaBr>

12.1.2. Imprisoned for one to 19 days and released on bail
Name -Magazine/Newspaper

Daniel Kifle - Ruh Ghetachew Mekonnin - Feleg Selomon Ambachew - Salem Ghezahegn Ashagre - Tinqish Messele Hadis - Aimiro Niguse Ayele - Lucy
Kibret Mekonnin - Aimiro
Kifle Mulat - Zena Admas
Qidist Belachew - Aimiro
Tamirat G/Ghiyorghis - Tomar
Netsanet Tesfaye - Aimiro
Befeqadu Moreda - Tomar
Tesfaye Birhanu - Muday
Habtamu Wibetu - Tomar
Asrat Damtew - Muday
Melaku Demisse - Tomar
Metshafe Sirak - Muday
Tezerra Kasa - Enkoy
Bellete Abbebe - Muday
Adebabay Abbay - Enkoy
Girmay G/Tsadiq - Muday
Bahru Ghindaba - Enkoy
Nebiyu Eyasu - Africa Qend
Izedin Mohammed - Yefiqir Chewata
Seyid Nur - Africa Qend
Ghennet Mekuriya - Libro
Ghirma Lemma - Afrodayt
Werqu Alemayehu - Ethiopis
Mintesinot Zena - Zavera
Kasa Keraga - Yeigziabher Menghist
Mulushewa Metekiya - Zavera

12.1.3. Investigated by the police and released on bail

Name Magazine/Newspaper
Mulugheta Lule - Tobiya
Girma Sillase Araya - Mizan
Kefale Mammo - Ruh
Deribew Temesghen - Mizan
Laikemariam Demisse - Ruh
Aklilu Zelleqe - Ethiopian R.
Meleskachew Amiha - Alef
Garedew Demmise - Adiss Observer
Birhanu Mewa - Alef
Wubishet Aseffa - Meklit
Adem Kamil - Africa Qend
Antensay Taffese - Moghed
Ghennet Ayele - Afrodayt
Kinfe Asefa - Moghed

13. Denial Of Pension Rights

Persons listed below have been denied their legal rights for pensions. 1. Br/Gen. Selomon Kinfe - Air Force
2. Col. Ayalew Mellese - Air Force
3. L/Col Gashaw W/Mariam - Air Force
4. Col. Debela Dinssa - Retired- Prisoner
5. 22 Retired prisoners - A.A. Prison

14. Denial Of The Right To Work

Article 23(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides every person with the right to work, to choose freely his/her work. The recent action of the Addis Ababa region and its police department has rendered life extremely difficult for the weakest and poorest section of the population, small children, young persons and old women. Most of these persons were engaged in selling newspapers, magazines, food items and old clothing. The police, obviously with orders from above, have been harassing these people and confiscating their property and some of them have even been detained. No alternative employment opportunities have been provided for these people who are only trying to earn literally their daily bread. We have witnessed such means of earning a living even in the most modern cities in the most developed and wealthy countries.

15. Persons Dismissed From Their Jobs

The following persons have been dismissed from their jobs without due process and outside all the laws governing such dismissals.

1.   112 Workers  
2.   27 Awraja Administrators  
3.   15 Workers  
4.   3 Workers  
5.   Priest Zegheye Zata  
6.   Ato Tesfaye Taddese  
7.   Wro. Senayt Lemma  
8.   D/r Debeli Qelbessa  
9.   Ato Munir Negash  
10.   Ato Zerihun Demisse  
11.   Ato Tilahun Alemayehu  


16. Prisoners Of War

The Ethiopian Human Rights Council has several times raised the issue of prisoners of war, still held by TPLF and EPLF. We urge the international community, especially those who are actively interested in such humanitarian roles, to take up the issue with the authorities concerned and provide some relief to the families of these victims. We also appeal to the Transitional Government to show more active interest in this matter as a gesture of humanitarian concern for its citizens. The following is a new list of names of prisoners of war.

  Name   Place captured Date captured Captor
1   Maj. Fantahun Irkata   Shire Feb.1989 TPLF
2   Priest. Abrham Elsa   Haiq 16/05/91 EPRDF
3   Lt.Col. Bellete K/Yimer   Asmera 24/05/91 EPLF
4   Cap. Admasu G/Mikael   Asmera 24/05/91 EPLF


17. Persons Whose Property Has Been Expropriated

Article 17/2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that no person shall arbitrarily be deprived of his property. The persons listed below have reported that they have been deprived of their properties arbitrarily.
17.1. Those deprived by EPRDF

Name Kind Estimate place Date
Ato Kasahun Tefera   Household goods   32250   Welqte Q.02/141   May 1991  
Cap. Atnafu Guwangul   House   6974   Jijiga   09/05/93  
Ato Taera Deressa   Taxi Plate No. A.A.1-05788   40000   A.A.   09/01/92
 
Wro. Tsedash Amume   NEK Television   3500   JiJiga   18/08/93  

17.2 Those Deprived by EPLF

No.   Name   Kind Estimate
1   Ato Ayalew Abate   Household goods 24050
2   Ato Taddele W/Mikael   >> 45900
3   Wzo. Lubaba Mengistu   >> 23255
4   Ato Ygzachew Retta   >> 18000
5   Ato Ashagre Haile   >> 39125
6   Ato Abate Mekonnin   >> 109670
7   Ato Abate Eniyew   >> 27060
8   Ato Kefyalew Hiluf   >> 26600
9   Ato Siyum Yilma   >> 27200
10   Ato Abbebe Tenagashaw   >> 77726
11   Ato Asfaw Etbusa   >> 9460
12   Ato Alemayehu Terfasa   >> 11020
13   Ato Alebachew Alemu   Household goods 67950
14   Ato Efrem Disasa   >> 25590
15   Ato Temesghen Kassa   >> 132329
16   Ato Mammo Fentaye   House & H.Hold goods 154160
17   Ato Dejene H/Mariam   Renault-9 45000
18   Wro. Amelewerq G/Amlak   Mersedis-Truck Plate No. A.A.3-17043 326756
Total Birr 1,190,851  

18. Conclusion

The Ethiopian Human Rights Council would like to remind the authorities of the Transitional Government that the reported violations detailed above in this Report are violations of rights instituted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights embodied in the Charter and of other laws of the country. Steps must, therefore, be taken to investigate and to take the necessary legal action. If the Charter is the highest law of the country and is framed to chart the process towards our objective of democratization, the rule of law and due process, respect for human rights, to establish democratic institutions which will empower the people and to create favourable conditions which will inspire confidence in people stirring them to make greater effort to improve their standards of living, then the present course as depicted by the violations enumerated above will not lead us to our declared objectives. It is the responsibility of the officials of the Transitional Government to correct these practices. It is the function of any government to bring to justice all violators of human rights; it cannot become a shelter to such violators. It is the duty of all political parties and ethnic or other organisations to give a chance to the democratic process by recognising each other's rights to have access to the people. We also strongly believe that to employ force is to be anti democracy. The Ethiopian Human Rights Council has repeatedly and consistently advocated peaceful political struggle and has always urged all political parties to follow such policies. We appeal to all human rights organisations, political and religious associations as well as to governments and international agencies who believe in the cause of human rights, the democratic process and the rule of law to write to the following officials of the Transitional Government and to influence them to take corrective actions.