Gumii Paarlaamaa Oromoo (GPO)

Oromo Parliamentarians Council (OPC)


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HRLHA Urgent Action and Appeal public, 17 March 2011

Mass Arrests and Imprisonments in Ethiopia: Fear of Torture

In a continuous Mass arrests and imprisonments that has been taking place for weeks all over Oromia including Capital City Finfinnee/Addis Ababa, HRLHA reporters confirmed that in and around Negelle Town of Borana Zone in Southern Oromia, around Damb Dollo and Gimbi towns in Western Wallaga zone in western Oromia, around Ambo town and all over Showa zone Centeral Oromia , dozens of people have recently been taken to prison, most of them to Ma’ikalawi Central Investigation Office in the Capital City. Targeted in this most recent wave of political harassments and intimidations, which has been going on for the last two weeks, were, among others, public servants, high school teachers as well as students, businessmen, private company workers, peasants, and others.

From the many (over one hundreds) victims of this most recent political wave, the HRLHA has managed, through its local correspondents, to obtain the names of the following together with some details of their situations:

Mr. Sorsa Dabala, Mr. Getachew Gobana, and four other Oromo nationals whose whereabouts are not known after they were extra-judicially picked up on from different locations at different times by members of security forces of the federal government.

According to information so far obtained by HRLHA in this regard, Mr. Sorsa Dabala, an employee of a private company called F-FARM, was taken from his home in the Burayu locality of the Capital Addis Ababa/Finfinne on March 14, 2011 by federal governments, along with four other Oromo nationals (who could not be identified by names at this moment) at the same time from the same neighbourhood in Burayu area.

Mr. Getachew Gobana was kidnapped by the federal government security agents on February 25, 2011 around the area known as Wallaga Tara in the heart of the Capital.

Although there are unconfirmed reports that Mr. Sorsa Dabala and other Oromo nationals arrested with him were being held at the Ma’ikalawi Central Investigation Office, family members and close friends of Mr. Getacho Gobana have not been able to know anything about him including his whereabouts.

HRLHA is highly concerned about the safety of the local residents in general and of those who have already been taken into custody. It believes that this government action of the Ethiopian Government

is in violation of fundamental political and cultural rights which are enshrined in the Ethiopian constitution. It also believes that such extrajudicial harassments and intimidations would worsen the humanitarian crisis that has continued to hit the country

The citizens of Ethiopia have all kinds of legal and constitutional rights to safety and protection, even when they are under/in the hands of the justice system as a suspect of alleged criminal activities. Accordingly, Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) calls up on the Ethiopian Government to abide by the laws of the land as well as the international and regional covenants, treaties and agreements that the country has ratified, and ensure the safety of those individuals thereby disclose their whereabouts to their respective families.

HRLHA also calls upon the regional and international humanitarian and diplomatic communities and agencies based in Addis Ababa/Finfinne to pressurize the Ethiopian Government to disclose the whereabouts and the current situations of those arrested individuals especially to their respective next-of-kins, allow them access to legal services, bring them before a court of justice, and also to refrain from harassing and intimidating its own citizens is such extra-judicial manners.

Background Information

The Ethiopian government has a well-documented record of gross and flagrant violations of legal and constitutional rights of its own citizens, mainly of those who are suspected of being members or sympathizing with opposition political organizations. The government of Ethiopia routinely imprisons such persons and in some cases sentences them to long terms in prison. Some face the harshest punishment including death penalty. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuses committed against individuals in Ethiopian official prisons and other secret places of detention.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its concerned officials as swiftly as possible, in English, Ahmaric, or your own language expressing:

• concern at the apprehension and fear of Torture of the citizens who are being held in Ma’ikelawi Central Investigation Office and other detention centers since in February, 2011 at different times and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;

• urging the authorities of Ethiopia to ensure that these detainees are treated in accordance with regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners, and And

• to diplomatic representatives of Ethiopia accredited to your country.

• His Excellency: Mr. Meles Zenawi – Prime Minister of Ethiopia

P.O.Box – 1031

Addis Ababa

Telephone - +251 155 20 44; +251 111 32 41

Fax - +251 155 20 30 , +251 1552020

• His Excellency Birhan Hailu –Min. of Justice

PO Box 1370, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Fax: +251 11 5517775; +251 11 5520874 Email:

• Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

United Nations Office at Geneva 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland Fax: + 41 22 917 9022 (particularly for urgent matters) E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

• UNHCR main office Geneva, Switzerland.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Case Postale 2500 CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt Suisse. telephone number: +41 22 739 8111

African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR)

48 Kairaba Avenue, P.O.Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia.

Tel: (220) 4392 962 , 4372070, 4377721 – 23 Fax: (220) 4390 764


U.S. Department of State

Tom Fcansky – Foreign Affairs Officer


Washington, D.C. 20037

Tel: +1-202-261-8009

Fax: +1-202-261-8197

• Amnesty International – London

Tom Gibson

Telephone: +44-20-74135500

Fax number: +44-20-79561157

Email;- TGibson@amnesty.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

• Human Rights Watch – New York, Tel: +1-212-290-4700

Fax:+1-212-736-1300 Email:


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