Thursday, November 09, 2006

‘‘Between 15,000 and 20,000 people have been killed in the Oromia region’‘The Oromia region Supreme Court president Mr Aberra, said.

‘‘Between 15,000 and 20,000 people have been killed in the Oromia region’‘The Oromia region Supreme Court president Mr Aberra, said.

Ethiopian judge tells of regime's massacres
· Claims tens of thousands of critics murdered
· US ally accused of rights abuses on massive scale
Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor
Thursday November 9, 2006
The Guardian

The Ethiopian government is responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of students and other critics over the past 15 years, one of the country's most senior judges, who has defected to Britain, said yesterday.

In an interview with the Guardian in London, Judge Teshale Aberra claimed the government of Meles Zenawi is as bad or worse than that of his predecessor, Mengistu Haile Mariam, which was widely condemned for human rights abuses.

"The Mengistu government killed and boasted about it. The Meles government kills and asks 'who killed them?', and then sets up an inquiry commission," Mr Aberra said. "This government may be more deadly."

US has been muted in its criticism, partly because it sees Mr Meles as an ally in its "war on terrorism" and a counterweight to the unrest in Somalia. The British government cut direct aid last year in protest at a clampdown, but the reaction of the international community, taking its lead from Washington, has been low-key.

Mr Aberra, who was a judge for 12 years, said between 15,000 and 20,000 people have been killed in the Oromia region, which is one of the biggest provinces in the country and includes the capital, Addis Ababa. Others had been killed elsewhere in the country, many of them student protesters

He cited various incidents with which he was familiar, including two students killed by a policeman last year in what he described as cold blood.

Meles government was criticised last year after police allegedly massacred 193 people involved in anti-government demonstrations. Mr Aberra said about 80,000 people were arrested in the subsequent round-up, though most were later released.

Mr Aberra, who was president of the Oromia supreme court, said that, with prisons overflowing, those arrested had been held in the military and police academies, and torture was commonplace. "They detain people without court orders. They detain people even after the decision is rendered that they should be released. They persecute people and, in some areas, they kill people. There is massive killing all over. There is a systematic massacre."

He fled Ethiopia on October 29. His wife and two children have also left and are in hiding. He characterises himself as non-political and said he decided to leave because of pressure on the judicial system from the government and threats from senior figures in the Oromia regional government. "They warned me to comply with demands to suppress certain judges, to detain people who had been released, and release the people who had been detained but the government wanted out."



At 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mana Oromo Swiss Editor,

The atrocities that are being imposed on the people of Oromo is now some thing even the Prime Minister spoke about with out any shame. He told his rubber stamp parlament that we shall imprison every one one who is suspected of sympathising with OLF. Mind you, this goes beyond being a memebr or doing any thing illegal. The government declared that can put you in prison for years with out any due process for "what you might think. This implies being an Oromo is good enough for their naked massacre and inhuman tretment of Oromians.

I appreciate your effort to bring to the attention of the world community the illegal, cruel and unjust treatment of the Oromos.



Post a Comment

<< Home