Video: Rights Violation in Custody – A story of Activist Nigist Yirga

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Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban with EHRP

The Ethiopia Human Rights Project (EHRP) has shone light on instances of rights abuses in the country’s prisons.

EHRP used the story of a young woman, Nigist Yirga, who has been held by authorities since 2015 for participating in anti-government protests that hit the East African country.

Nigist – born and raised in the northern Gonder region said her only crime was for participating in peaceful demonstrations of July 2015. ‘I was arrested due to my participation in the protest.

I expressed my objections to the mass arrest and killings that was happening all over the country, which was why I took part in the protest. That led to my imprisonment.

‘I expressed my objections to the mass arrest and killings that was happening all over the country, which was why I took part in the protest. That led to my imprisonment,’ she added.

She discloses further that after arrest, she was sent to a detention center in the capital Addis Ababa – over 730km from Gondar. She was held in the Meakelawi facility which is notorious for widespread torture.

Read Aloud:   "Imprisoned Warriors" - by Samrawit Tessema | Video

She chronicled how she was held incommunicado in Addis Ababa – an extremely cold cell with late night interrogations were some of the horrors she faced. She told how her hair and toe nails were pulled whiles she stood naked in front of male officers.

The 3 minutes 44 seconds cartooned video clip posted on Youtube said she was currently being held at the Kality prison where a certain degree of abuses continue among others: highly restricted visits which last 30 minutes. ‘I should not have suffered all these because I exercised my right,’ she concluded.

It is not known when and how the story of Yirga was documented. The EHRP is a non-governmental organization whose vision is ‘the amplification of Ethiopian Human Rights Voices,’ its website says.

‘Ethiopia Human Rights Project (EHRP) understands the challenges that local civil societies in Ethiopia face and their limitations to engage on rights advocacy because of the restrictive environment in which they operate in,’ they added.

Read Aloud:   BBN Daily Ethiopian News October 16, 2017

1 Comment

  1. In the 1930 German Nazi Gestapo were organized to eliminate millions of Jews for no valid reason. The atrocities committed by Hitler and his regime is well established and to this day many of the torture camps are open to the public as a vivid reminder of cruelty by a human to another of his kind.
    What is happening in Ethiopia for the last forty years by the TPLF is comparable to what Nazi Germany did to the Jews. From their inception, TPLF was bent on the destruction of Ethiopian unity. They have taken a page out of Mussolini’s invasion plan of Ethiopia from many years back. Divide and rule and brutalize anyone who wants Ethiopian unity and Identity. To achieve this, they have divided and subdivided regions of the country along ethnic and language lines. Effectively creating an apartheid system. While we squabble on worthless border and the rights of who lives in the area and who does not have rights, TPLF is pouring fuel to the fire watching us kill each other. In the meantime, they are fleecing the country and amassing billions of dollars in and outside Ethiopia. Their children and relatives are sent through made up scholarships and other government sponsored, fully paid trainings abroad. In essence, they are recruiting and training future TPLF leaders to continue their power hold and strangle on the country.
    To see Bekele Gerba, Professor Merera Gudina in chains makes a normal person convulse. What is going on in TPLF official and secretive dungeons is repulsive and sadistic. A human being will not excrete on top of another human. A normal mind will not enjoy seeing someone naked and suffering while being handled and photographed a bottle hanging on the penis, a stick in the ass and vagina. These are not human beings. TPLF is an animal. To pull finger and toenails while the prisoner is screaming in agony makes these people happy. What is happening to this young lady and millions of others around the country is mind numbing. What beats me is this: How could one inflict such brutality on another person and still have a normal sleep?

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