Urgent Action and Appeal – PUBLIC 24 April, 2011
KIDNAPPING, DISAPPEARING, DEPORTING, FEAR OF TORTURE
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) would like to express its deep concern regarding the safety and whereabouts of three Oromos, who were kidnapped by members of the security force of the Ethiopian Federal Government at different times and places over the past week.
Mr. Getachew Birru Gurmessa, a researcher at Bako Agricultural Research Center in Western Showa Zone in Oromia, was kidnapped on April 13, 2011, and taken to an unknown destination after being held briefly at Bako Police Station. Attempts by family members and friends of Mr. Getachew B. Gurmessa to locate his whereabouts and communicate with have so far been fruitless. Rumours are that he has been transported to Ma’ikelawi Central/Federal Investigation Office in the capital, Addis Ababa/Finfinne.
Similarly, Mr. Abdussalam H. Muktar, a UNHCR registered and mandated refugee with the ID number of 07/RF/SOMHA/009, was kidnapped and taken away from his temporary shelter/home in the Hargessa Town of Somaliland early in the morning at around 6:00 AM on the 20th of April, 2011. According to HRLHA correspondents in Hargessa, Mr. Abdussalam H. Muktar was kidnapped by joint forces of the local security forces of Somaliland and Ethiopian security agents, who are believed to have traveled to Somaliland for this and other similar missions. Despite the exhaustive search by family members and friends with the support of the local UNHCR office, the whereabouts of Mr. Abdussalam Muktar, too, were not known ever since he was kidnapped and literally deported back to Ethiopia. If Mr. Abdussalam’s case is a deportation back to Ethiopia, where he is said to have spent about 14 (fourteen years) in prison exta-judicially under the ruling TPLF/EPRDF regime, the implication is that the Somaliland Government is not abiding by the international laws, treaties, and agreements relating to the rights of refugees.
HRLHA has also received a report that Mr. Fayisa Almneh Faji, Dean of the Rift Valley University in the city of Adama in Oromia, was kidnapped on April 14, 2011 by security agents of the Federal Government of Ethiopia, and his whereabouts have not been known until the time this urgent action was compiled.
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) is highly concerned, among other things, about the well-being of the three Oromos, as anything that could endanger their lives could happen to them under such extra-judicial circumstances. Also, the socio-economic, political, and psychological impacts of such circumstances on the families and friends whom those victims have left behind are not simple. So, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) calls on all local, regional, and international human rights and diplomatic agencies to exert pressure on the Ethiopian TPLF/EPRDF Government to, first of all, disclose the overall situations of those victims to families and friends, and allow the relevant and proper legal processes to take place in case the three persons have committed any crimes; and, secondly, to exercise accountability and responsibility as a government by refrain from committing such extra-judicial and undemocratic harassment and intimidation against its own citizens.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its concerned officials as swiftly as possible, in English, Ahmaric, or your own language expressing:
* Your Concerns at the apprehension and fear of Torture of the citizens who are being held in Ma’ikelawi Central Investigation Office and other detention centers since in February, 2011 at different times and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;
* Urging the authorities of Ethiopia to ensure that these detainees are treated in accordance with regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners,
* Urging the Ethiopian Government to disclose whereabouts of the detainees, and
* Your concerns to diplomatic representatives of Ethiopia accredited to your country.