Ethiopia torturing 'opposition' ethnic group – Amnesty

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Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group has been subjected to torture and gang rape for perceived opposition to government, according to an Amnesty report.

Ethiopia has “ruthlessly targeted” and tortured its largest ethnic group for perceived opposition to the government, Amnesty International said in a damning report on Tuesday.
amenesty international
Thousands of people from the Oromo ethnic group have been “regularly subjected to arbitrary arrest, prolonged detention without charge, enforced disappearance, repeated torture and unlawful state killings,” read the report based on over 200 testimonies.
“Dozens of actual or suspected dissenters have been killed.” At least 5 000 Oromos have been arrested since 2011 often for the “most tenuous of reasons”, for their opposition – real or simply assumed – to the government, the report added.
Many are accused of supporting the rebel Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Former detainees, who have fled the country and were interviewed by Amnesty in neighbouring Kenya, Somaliland and Uganda, described torture “including beatings, electric shocks, mock execution, burning with heated metal or molten plastic and rape, including gang rape,” the report read.
One young girl said hot coals were dropped on her stomach because her father was suspected of supporting the OLF, while a teacher described how he was stabbed in the eye with a bayonet after he refused to teach “propaganda about the ruling party” to students.
No reaction from government
There was no immediate response from the government, which has previously dismissed such reports and denied any accusation of torture or arbitrary arrests. “The Ethiopian government’s relentless crackdown on real or imagined dissent among the Oromo is sweeping in its scale and often shocking in its brutality,” Amnesty researcher Claire Beston said.
“This is apparently intended to warn, control or silence all signs of ‘political disobedience’ in the region,” she added, describing how those she interviewed bore the signs of torture, including scars and burns, as well as missing fingers, ears and teeth.
With nearly 27-million people, Oromia is the most populated of the country’s federal states and has its own language, Oromo, distinct from Ethiopia’s official Amharic language. Some of those who spoke to Amnesty said people had been arrested for organising a student cultural group. Another said they were arrested because they delivered the baby of the wife of a suspected OLF member.
“Frequently, it’s because they refused to join the ruling party,” Beston added, warning that many were fearful attacks would increase ahead of general elections slated for May 2015. In April and May, security forces shot dead student protestors in Oromia.
At the time, the government said eight were killed, but groups including Human Rights Watch said the toll was believed to be far higher. Amnesty said that “dozens” were killed in the protests. – Sapa

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  1. This is another fuel being poured around by elements in the ruling party back there. It is 2014 and do they know the rest of the world scrutiny has reached to a point of being unavoidable? Torturing of dissidents, jailing of journalists, reports of disappearances and past killings of prisoners of war and rigging of elections make it very difficult even for the pro-regime individuals we occasionally encounter on this and other websites lambasting at everyone bemoaning the behavior of the government back home to defend it at all times. Everything is bound to come to a full circle. It may take time but it will happen. One of the allegations hard to believe is the gang raping of women. To be honest with you, I was thinking about giving the new PM the benefit of doubt for a few reasons. He was not with either TPLF or EPLF when they were in the bushes. He was not there with them calling the name of the Lord in vain. He is a new comer and he is a devout religious person who belongs to our Christian brothers and sisters sect. It is in his creed that torture is a sin. A true devout in any religion would even put his own life in line to stop such inhumane acts if one is alleged. I was also encouraged by one of his interviews he gave in which he admitted that some arm twisting and violence was used by members of the ruling party to secure votes during the previous elections. You can forget such admissions by the ones before him. It looks though that he is shedding the teachings of his creed for the worldly goods. But ta\hat said, I am not giving up on merits of peaceful means of standing in the opposition of some of the despotic policies of the government. With me, no peace, no dice. Violence only begets violence except the legitimate war being waged against terrorism being perpetuated by these Eyal-al-Souk thugs in the Middle East and Somalia.

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