October 01, 2014
The leaders of Addis Abeba based Ethiopian opposition parties namely Blue (Semayawi Party), Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) and ArenaTigray party have issued a joint statement titled “We should stop submitting to illegal acts” regarding their respective party leaders who have been detained since July 2014. Ethiopian police had arrested Habtamu Ayalew, Daniel Shibeshi (both UDJ Party leaders), Yeshiwas Assefa (Semayawi Party) and Abraha Desta Public Relations Head of the Arena Opposition Party in Mekelle, Tigrai region.
They have not been charged yet. The detainees are going to appear for a third time tomorrow in the Arada First Bench Criminal Court. Along with the four prominent politicians, several unnamed youth including postgraduate university students, civil servants and business people have been detained in the same week. De Birhan has learnt that most of these youth whose named is not publicly know have been tortured to the extent when they were seen “staggering to walk” in side Makelawi prison, Addis Abeba.
The parties elaborating what they called ‘abuses’ being committed against their fellow members being detained in the Makelawi prison, stated that they will soon announce measures that they would be taken in order to denounce these illegal actions being taken against the prisoners.
The parties in their statement said that the detained politicians have been refused from accessing legal aid from their solicitor since recently. They said the police and civil detectives have been threatening them saying “We could even kill you for the sake of national interest.” Their lawyer Temam Aba Bulgo, has also been a victim of these all rounded attacks. Thus, the parties have the solicitor would not be appearing in any of the upcoming court proceedings representing the detainees.
The Amharic version of the press release of the parties issued today is attached here