RELEASE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS NOW
May–June 2005: Following a general election which the ruling EPRDF of Meles Zenawi lost the regime let loose its security forces and special Agazi killer commandos to repress the people. More than 200 peaceful demonstrators who were protesting against the regime’s blatant fraud were shot dead and more than 50,000 rounded up and sent to the horrible labour camps of Zwai, Bir Sheleko and Dedesa. More than a hundred leader sof the opposition forces were jailed and many independent journalists incarcerated and their newspapers closed.
The imprisoned leaders and journalists were released two years later while more than 35,000 political prisoners are still suffering in the concentration camps and secret prisons all over the country. Prior to May– June 2005, thousands of political prisoners were already languishing in the prisons of the regime. Dozens others like Tsegaye Gebre Medhin, Yishak Debretsion and many other EPRP leaders and members had been disappeared.
As the Meles Zenawi regime prepares its already-known victory in the coming 2010 election and has once again unleashed a pre emptive repression jailing potential and actual dissidents and rivals. All over Ethiopia, the prisons are full and in Addis Ababa alone the regime operates dozens of secret prisons in which torture has become routine. Four years later, the prisoners are behind bars without ever being presented before a court of law.
No rule of law, no habeas corpus. Conditions in the labor camps are abysmal, the sick are not treated, starvation is the rule, wardens and police beat up the prisoners at will, cruel and inhumane punishment is the norm. This gross violation of rights deserves strong condemn action. Those who arde giving aid and support to the is repressive regime must reconsider their mistaken decision and start to impose sanctions and pressures calling for the immediate frelease of all political prisoners in Ethiopia.