Sep 13, 2012 | Dimtschin Yisema - English
Shocking reports are emerging from credible insiders at the Central Crime Investigation Department in Addis Ababa that representatives of the Muslim community, religious teachers and a journalist who have been in pre-trial detention since Mid-July were being brutally tortured.
According to insiders, the Muslim communities’ representatives and religious preachers were held in separate cold dark rooms, for more than 10 days, where they were tortured during night times.
Ustaz Abubaker Ahmad, who is the chairperson of the peoples’ committee, was forced to stand upright for 18 continuous hours, as a result he suffered serious complications on his kidney, and was taken to hospital for treatment. Another Committee member, Sheikh Mekete Muhe, who was formerly president of the Supreme Shari’aa Court, was also seen his body swollen.
Journalist Yusuf Getachew, who was Editor-in-chief of Yemuslimoch Guday (Muslims’ Affairs), an Amharic monthly magazine, was being beaten repeatedly by intelligence officers who carry with them copies of the magazine on which he published articles critical of the government and the unelected Majlis (the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council). Two of Yusuf’s colleagues were forced into exile, after security forces searched their respective houses as government started its crackdown on Muslim activists.
It is also confirmed that some of the detainees were tortured after being forced to be naked.
The brutal torturing of the detainees comes after the key Muslim representatives refused to sign a prepared letter of apology. The said letter of apology is reportedly prepared in such a way that the detainees would admit to have conspired to establish an Islamic government in Ethiopia, a crime which under Ethiopian Criminal Code is punishable by death.
Even though it may guarantee their release, the key Muslim figures know pretty well that obeying to such demand would completely jeopardize the nine-month long peaceful and legitimate rights movement of Ethiopian Muslims, which they were elected to lead and coordinate.
In the few months prior to the arrest of the Muslims’ representatives, religious preachers, journalists and several members of the Muslim community in Addis Ababa, the government was spearheading a propaganda campaign to portray the peaceful rights’ movement as having a hidden motive of establishing an Islamic government in the country. Unfounded as it was, that propaganda did not convince any section of Ethiopian society.
In a desperate move to portray the detainees as having links to overseas terrorist organizations, the security forces at Ma’ekelawi have reportedly forced the detainees into carrying the picture of Bin Laden and bundles of Ethiopian birr and took their photographs in such a state. Such photographs were meant to serve as evidence in the court.
Ethiopian Muslims, who temporarily suspended their weekly mosque-centered protests to mourn the death of PM Meles Zenawi, are now being enraged at the news of the torture of their leaders, religious preachers and journalists and calling for the reinvigoration of massive peace protests.