Ethiopia torturing political detainees - HRW

2013-10-18 09:01

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Ethiopian police are torturing political prisoners at a facility in Addis Ababa, according to a new report released on Friday by the rights group Human Rights Watch.

Entitled "They Want a Confession", the report charges that police torture people until they agree to confess to various crimes, whether true or not. It also says that since disputed elections in 2005 the government has tightened restrictions on freedom of speech.

An anti-terror law passed in 2009 has given the government even more means to restrict opposition voices and crackdown on dissidents.

Detainees, including political activists and journalists, say they were beaten and also forced into stress positions, such as hanging people from their wrists, the report alleges. 

Based on interviews with 35 people, the new report focuses on the Federal Police Crime Investigation Sector, commonly known as Maekelawi, which is located in Addis Ababa.

Prisoners are taken there shortly after they are arrested. Initial interrogations are carried out at the facility, and often, abuses soon follow.

Many prisoners were held for months without access to lawyers or their families, often in conditions which included poor food and inadequate medical treatment, according to testimonies collected by the New York-based rights group.

"The coercive methods, exacerbated by the poor detention conditions, are used by the authorities at Maekelawi to maximize pressure on detainees to extract statements, confessions, and other information-whether accurate or not-to implicate them and others in alleged criminal activity," the report charges.

Those who have been abused by the system have little options for redress, as the judiciary is seen as a politicised body that bends to the government's will, the report said.

Human Rights Watch said donors to Ethiopia - a major recipient of Western aid money - should demand accountability from the authorities, including ensuring access to the detention centre for observers.

Read more on:    human rights watch  |  ethiopia  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.