Ethiopian authorities are torturing and mistreating political detainees to extract confessions. Most of the prisoners are being held in painful stress positions for hours upon end, hung from the wall by their wrists, often while being beaten. “Ethiopian authorities right in the heart of the capital regularly use abuse to gather information,” said Leslie Lefkow, HRW’s deputy Africa director.
The U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Ethiopia (April 2011) documented:
…Human rights abuses reported during the year included unlawful killings, torture, beating, and abuse and mistreatment of detainees and opposition supporters by security forces, especially special police and local militias, which took aggressive or violent action with evident impunity in numerous instances; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention, particularly of suspected sympathizers or members of opposition or insurgent groups; detention without charge and lengthy pretrial detention… Numerous reliable sources confirmed in April 2009 that in Maekelawi, the central police investigation headquarters in Addis Ababa, police investigators often used physical abuse to extract confessions.
In its 2010 World Report-Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch (HRW) concluded that
… torture and ill-treatment have been used by Ethiopia’s police, military, and other members of the security forces to punish a spectrum of perceived dissenters, including university students, members of the political opposition, and alleged supporters of insurgent groups… Secret detention facilities and military barracks are most often used by Ethiopian security forces for such activities.
What is Free the Prisoners! Week?
Ethiopians for Justice is happy to announce the “Free the Prisoners! Week” is 21 days week to push TPLF to release all political prisoners and journalists. . FTP! is a week of events to encourage Ethiopian to think critically about the innocent prisoners and the violence of prisons, detention, forced migration, and torture. It gives Ethiopians fighting for social justice a platform to discuss how TPLF is treating prisoners.