ETHIOPIA: POLITICALLY MOTIVATED MASS ARRESTS MAKE THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) RISK WORSE

Urgent Actions

HRLHA’s Press Release
For Immediate Release

April 15, 2020

 The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) would like to express its deep concern over the potential outbreak of a deadly disease, Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Ethiopian prisons in Oromia Regional State where several political prisoners are confined in Federal concentration camps and police stations, in different Oromia towns including Burayu (west of the Capital), Ambo, Nekemte (Jato Prison) in Western, in Chiro, galamso, Deder town police stations in the Eastern Oromia. Most of the political prisoners are Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) members taken from different places including OLF branch offices and arrested.

Overcrowded and squalid prisons and detention centers risk becoming detonators for a major COVID-19 outbreak which will make the pandemic easily spread and harder to control. Infectious disease in prisons is a serious public health risk; inmates are crammed into small prison cells with many others. Even in facilities that aren’t deemed overcrowded, there is inadequate nutrition, and poor sanitation means that thousands of detainees in concentration camps suffer from health problems, putting them at particular risk amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Olika Chali

The WHO and health specialists have repeatedly warned that contaminated hands too close to people’s faces will surely make prison facilities playgrounds for COVID-19.

At this crucial moment, when the whole world is fighting against the common enemy, COVID-19, politically motivated mass arrests, kidnappings and harassment of members and supporters of Oromo Political Organizations (OLF & OFC) by the Ethiopian government military must be condemned by the World Health Organization, UN Human Rights Council members and the world at large.

According to HRLHA reporters in Oromia, the major target areas of these most recent government-sponsored human rights abuses include Central Showa districts, Wallaga zone districts, and East and West Hararge zone districts.

Although it has been difficult to identify everyone by their names, HRLHA has confirmed that the following were among those arrested recently in Oromia different zones after the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country

No Name Sex Detained by   Zone/District, Town   Arrested Date
1 Olika Chali (OLF Office Representative)   M Federal Government Security force Burayu Towm Apr. 12,2020
2 Geremew Mekonen   M Federal Gov Security force Shambu Town (Wallagga) Apr. 8, 2020
3 Mitiku Duressa M Federal Government Security force Gobu Sayyo, East Wallaga Mar 30, 2020
4 Mulata Wak-way (Teacher) M Federal Gov Security force Gobu Sayyo, East Wallaga Mar 30, 2020
5 Zenebe Dinagde M Federal Government Security force Gobu Sayyo, East Wallaga Mar 30, 2020
6 Chalchisa Chali M Federal Gov Security force Gobu Sayyo, East Wallaga Mar 30, 2020
7 Barecha Shuge M Gobu Sayyo, East Wallaga Mar 30, 2020
8 Solan Haile   M Federal Gov. Security force Walkite Town (West Shewa)
9 Abdi Girma   M Federal Gov. Security force Jeldu Town (West Shewa) Apr.6, 2020
10 Dirirsa Abera ( Erlier Who was dismissed from Jima University) M Federal Gov. Security force Burayu, Town Apr. 3, 2020
11 Dilbi Merera   M Federal Gov. Security force Bakko Tobe (West Shewa Mar.30, 2020
12 Dhibashi Abdissa (Dilbi’s Mother)   F Federal Gov. Security force Bakko Tobe (West Shewa Mar.30, 2020
13 Sena Merera , 13 Dilb’s Sister   F Federal Gov. Security force Bakko Tobe (West Shewa Mar.30, 2020
14 Temesgen asmera   M Federal Gov. Security force Bakko Tobe (West Shewa Mar. 30, 2020
15 Dereje Merga Debelo (OFC youth Organization Leader)   M Federal Gov. Security force Finfinne (AA) Mar.14, 2020
16 Bonsa Befkadu (OLF office Worker)   M Federal Gov. Security force Finfinne, Bole Mar.12, 2020
17 Bonsa Nigatu M Federal Gov. Security force Bakko Tobe (West Shewa Mar. 9, 2020
18 Lencho   M Federal Gov. Security force Bakko Tobe (West Shewa Mar.9, 2020
19 Oromiyaa Abdurahiman F Federal Gov. Security force Chalenko,East Hararge Apr. 7, 2020
20 Abdele Yuya M Federal Gov. Security force Chalenko,East Hararge Apr. 7, 2020
21 Ahmed Jawar M Federal Gov. Security force Chalenko,East Hararge Apr. 7, 2020
22 Mohamed Shami M Federal Gov. Security force Chalenko,East Hararge Apr. 7, 2020
23 Fesal Musa M Federal Gov. Security force Chalenko,East Hararge Apr. 9, 2020
24 Mume Adam M Federal Gov. Security force Chalenko,East Hararge Apr. 9, 2020
25 Amme Haso M Federal Gov. Security force Chalenko,East Hararge Apr. 9, 2020
26 Debisa Gada M Federal Gov. Security force Jarso, East Hararge Mar 30, 2020
27 Shfa Jibro M Federal Gov. Security force Jarso, East Hararge Mar 30, 2020
28 Yusuf Abdela M Federal Gov. Security force Jarso, East Hararge Mar 30, 2020
29 Ibsa Kalif M Federal Gov. Security force Baddano, Karcha, East Hararge April 8, 2020
30 Mohamed Ibrahim M Federal Gov. Security force Baddano, Karcha, East Hararge April 8, 2020
31 Sulta Jamal M Federal Gov. Security force Baddano, Karcha, East Hararge April 8, 2020
32 Mutessa Mohamed M Federal Gov. Security force Baddano, Karcha, East Hararge April 8, 2020
33 Lenjissa Boke M Federal Gov. Security force Gara Mulata, East Hararge Apr 10, 2020
34 Obsa Sarkamo M Federal Gov. Security force Gara Mulata, East Hararge Apr 10, 2020
35 Bayisa Bari M Federal Gov. Security force Gara Mulata, East Hararge Apr 10, 2020
36 Aliyi Mohamed M Federal Gov. Security force Gara Mulata, East Hararge Apr 10, 2020
37 Arif Chabi M Federal Gov. Security force Gara Mulata, East Hararge Apr 10, 2020
38 Eliyas Hassen M Federal Gov. Security force Deder/East Hararge Apr 12, 2020
39 Shambal Chana M Federal Gov. Security force Goro Dola, East Guji Zone Apr 13, 2020
40 Desta Golu M Federal Gov. Security Goro Dola, East Guji Zone Apr 13, 2020
41 Golu Guyye M Federal Gov. Security force Goro Dola, East Guji Zone Apr 13, 2020
42 Yared Safay M Federal Gov. Security force Goro Dola, East Guji Zone Apr 13, 2020
43 Shek Jilo M Federal Gov. Security force Goro Dola, East Guji Zone Apr 13, 2020
44 Chana Jilo M Federal Gov. Security force Goro Dola, East Guji Zone Apr 13, 2020
45 Sora Jilo M Federal Gov. Security force Goro Dola, East Guji Zone Apr 13, 2020
46 Dulacha Jilo M Federal Gov. Security force Goro Dola, East Guji Zone Apr 13, 2020
47 Fikrte Adayyo F Federal Gov. Security force Goro Dola, East Guji Zone Apr 13, 2020
48 Balako Darara M Federal Gov. Security force Goro Dola, East Guji Zone Apr 13, 2020
49 Seba Franjii F Federal Gov. Security force Liban District & Negele Borana Apr 13, 2020
50 Loko Kula Kire F Federal Gov. Security force Liban District & Negele Borana Apr 13, 2020
51 Kabale Wakise Liban F Federal Gov. Security force Liban District & Negele Borana Apr 13, 2020
52 Darartu Boru F Federal Gov. Security force Liban District & Negele Borana Apr 13, 2020
53 Daratu Boru F Federal Gov. Security force Liban District & Negele Borana Apr 13, 2020
54 Iftu Wako F Federal Gov. Security force Liban District & Negele Borana Apr 13, 2020
55 Chluke Jarssa M Federal Gov. Security force Saba Buriti, East Guji Zone Mar 30, 2020
56 Garara Wate M Federal Gov. Security force Saba Buriti, East Guji Zone Mar 30, 2020
57 Udessa Ulane M Federal Gov. Security force Saba Buriti, East Guji Zone Mar 30, 2020
58 Kutala Bali M Federal Gov. Security force Saba Buriti, East Guji Zone Mar 30, 2020
59 Danko Anole M Federal Gov. Security force Saba Buriti, East Guji Zone Mar 30, 2020
60 Desta Kina M Federal Gov. Security force Saba Buriti, East Guji Zone Mar 30, 2020
61 Desha Mita M Federal Gov. Security force Saba Buriti, East Guji Zone Mar 30, 2020
62 Gobena Gerbi M Federal Gov. Security force Saba Buriti, East Guji Zone Mar 30, 2020
63 Robayi Dukale M Federal Gov. Security force Saba Buriti, East Guji Zone Mar 30, 2020
64 Ana Gerbi M Federal Gov. Security force Saba Buriti, East Guji Zone Mar 30, 2020
65 Dawa Aba Loko M Federal Gov. Security force Saba Buriti, East Guji Zone Mar 30, 2020

Recommendations to the Government of Ethiopia:

  1. Stop brutalities being perpetrated by the Federal military and Security force  against the members and supporters of political opposition parties
  •  The Ethiopian Government must stop politically motivated detentions and unconditionally release  all arbitrarily detained officials, members and supporters, of opposition political parties languishing in different official and unofficial detention centers
  • The Ethiopian government must give priority to stopping the potential spread of  Coronavirus pandemic by returning its military forces to their camps and stop harassing citizens in their homes
  • Investigate and bring to justice members of the security forces especially the Oromia Special Police who have been perpetrating wicked atrocities against political dissenters and innocent civilians

Copied To:

1. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
Switzerland
Email: hrhinfo@who.int

2. OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (OHCHR)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Palais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland

Postal address:
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland   

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