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Ethiopia in distress as the Tigre junta begins sending key political prisoners to remote jails.

The Horn Times News April 13, 2013

*where are Bekele Gerba and Albana Lelisa?

(By Getahune Bekele, South Africa)

Bekele Gerba

The forcible and secretive transfer, besides being a provocative action, is regarded as arbitrary and illegal, especially since it is against the very same constitution written by the same ruling Tigre junta.Some well known Oromo and Amhara political prisoners accused of having links to Ginbot-7 and OLF have been violently taken from Klinto prison in Addis Ababa to malaria and bubonic plague infested seaside concentration camp of Zeway, near the rift valley in southern Ethiopia.

Regarding the reason for this disturbing move, the only thing clear is that at least overcrowding for common offenders, but for political prisoners, there was no prior pretext to justify their clandestine departure from Addis Ababa.

Inveterate foes of Tigre tyranny in Ethiopia, the political prisoners who are serving disproportionately long prison terms inside jails that are transformed into fascist concentration camps over the course of 21 years are the most forgotten, the most abused and the most neglected souls on earth.   

According to a damning report appeared on issue 71 April edition of the popular Finotenetsanet Amharic Newspaper, the two highly regarded political prisoners Bekele Gerba and Albana Lelisa are no longer serving their sentences at Kilinto’s zone-2 maximum security section. They are in Zeway prison hundreds of kilometers away from their wives and kids.

Furthermore, the following is the list of political prisoners forcibly removed from Klinto Prison and transferred to Zeway between the month of March and April, starting with a political prisoner whose whereabouts remains a mystery after suddenly removed from Zone-2 high security zone in early March…     

1. Yared Sheferaw, still unaccounted for since March 2013

Transported to Zeway prison after being severely abused and kept in solitary confinement for several months…are

1. Simeneh Mitiku

2.Ambachew Zeryehun

3. Anteneh Ampolo

4. Saied Hussein

5. Nadew Firde

6. Kassahun Abdela

7. Yordanos Girma

8. Dejazmach Beyene

9. Aleneh Belata

10. Gebre Sisay


Arrested as suspected members of the main opposition party in exile, Ginbot-7, these two political prisoners were at Kilinto’s maximum security zone for more than 3 years and 8 months in handcuffs before taken to Zeway prison in April 2013…

  1. 1.    Brigadier Gen Tefera Mamo
  2. 2.    Asaminew Tsege

Other perceived Ginbot-7 members recently transferred to Zeway prison…are

  1. 1.    Lieutenant Col Demisew Anteneh
  2. 2.    Lieutenant Col Alemu Getinet
  3. 3.    Lieutenant Col Solomon Ashagre
  4. 4.    Major Mekonnen Worku   

    Political prisoners tortured by Tigre wardens and still held at Kilinto maximum security zone…

  1. 1.    Ashenafi
  2. 2.    Yonas Asfaw

For the past 21 years, the heavily battered Ethiopian free press repeatedly highlighted the suffering of captive men and women held inside known jails while calling on the international community to rescue those buried away in catacombs strewn across Tigrai province.

Still, of particular concern is the fate of hundreds deported from north Sudan, Djibouti, South Sudan and Kenya under a controversial prisoner exchange deal signed shortly before the death of the late loathsome warlord Meles Zenawi.






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