Ethiopia: I Always Remember in November and in…

Alemayehu G Mariam

Eth massacre victimsFor Ethiopians, November is a month which shall live in infamy

In November 2013, Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia are facing unspeakable horrors.

For the past few years, there has been systematic persecution of Ethiopians living, working and seeking refuge in Saudi Arabia. Even Ethiopians practicing their faith in the complete privacy of their homes have faced criminal prosecution and deportation. In 2011, according to a Human Rights Watch report, Saudi police arrested “thirty five Ethiopian Christians for ‘illicit mingling,’” while the  “Ethiopians gathered to pray together during the advent of Christmas, in the private home of one of the Ethiopians.”

It is no exaggeration to say it is open season on Ethiopian migrant workers and others seeking refuge in Saudi Arabia. Every day this month, Saudi police, security officials and ordinary Saudis have been hunting Ethiopians in the streets, beating, torturing and in some cases killing them. The video clips of Saudi police torturing Ethiopians are shocking to the conscience. The  video clips of Saudi mobs chasing, attacking and lynching Ethiopians in the streets requires no explanation. The photographs of crimes against humanity committed against Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia today are surreal and beyond civilized comprehension!!!

What is the regime in Ethiopia doing to help the estimated 200,000 plus Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia? Not a damn thing!

By its own admission, the regime has no idea how many Ethiopians are living in Saudi Arabia, but ludicrously promises to bring them all back “as soon as possible.”  The malaria researcher-turned-“foreign minister”, Tedros Adhanom, blathered that his regime “has condemned Saudi Arabia for its brutal crackdown on migrant workers in the kingdom. This is unacceptable. We call on the Saudi government to investigate this issue seriously. We are also happy to take our citizens, who should be treated with dignity while they are there.” “Unacceptable” is the most condemnatory language the regime could muster in the face of such monstrous cruelty, unspeakable barbarism and horrendous brutality and criminality. Al Jazeera reported that when outraged Ethiopians sought to peacefully protest in front of the Saudi embassy in Addis Ababa, they were arrested and beaten by regime policemen. “‘The police came and they beat us…and now more than 100 people are at the police station,” said Getaneh Balcha, a senior member of the opposition Blue Party movement, adding the party chairman and vice chairman were among those held.’” But should we really be surprised because…

In November 2005, Ethiopians faced unspeakable horrors in Ethiopia.

Following the parliamentary elections in May of that year, hundreds of Ethiopian citizens who protested the daylight theft of that election were massacred or seriously shot and wounded by police and security personnel under the exclusive command and control of the late regime leader Meles Zenawi. An official Inquiry Commission established by Zenawi documented that 193 unarmed men, women and children demonstrating in the streets and scores of other detainees held in a high security prison were intentionally shot and killed by police and security officials. An additional 763 were wounded.**

Every November since 2007, I have written a consecratory (sanctifying) memorial in remembrance of the hundreds of innocent unarmed demonstrators massacred and maimed in the aftermath of the 2005 parliamentary election by the current regime in Ethiopia. In my first memorial tribute, “Remember, the Ethiopian Martyrs of June and November, 2005 Forever!”, I reminded my readers that it was their moral duty “to bear witness for the dead and the living” as Elie Weisel,  the Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, so nobly put it. We must remember because we have “no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”

To forget the massacre victims of 2005 would be to forget the monstrous crimes committed against them and excuse the barbaric criminals who committed them. To forget the massacres is to assure the criminals they will never be held accountable because the crimes have been forgotten. Ultimately, to forget is to extend an invitation to the criminals in power to commit the same crimes again and again and on a greater scale with impunity.

I remember because I cannot and will not forget! Never!

I remember because if I do not who will be there to remember? I remember because if I forget, the crimes and the criminals will be forgotten. If I forget, how will history remember? History remembers only when there is someone to remember. So, I must remember. I must remember by bearing witness every Monday in November, and in December, and in January, and in February, and in March and in April, and…for  Ethiopia’s “youth of today, for the children who will be born tomorrow. [I] do not want [the] past to become their future.”

There are many who view my efforts over the years with some appreciation and gratitude; there are others who think I am an implacable, stubborn and overzealous partisan for my cause. I believe overzealous partisanship in the cause of human rights is a redemptive virtue. We live in a world of human rights and government wrongs. Ethiopians live in a world of government wrongs. Obstinacy in the defense of Ethiopian human rights is no vice.

I remember the victims of the 2005 massacres. I remember each and every one of them. I remember the young women who will never get to be mothers. I remember the young men who will never get to be fathers. I remember the orphans whose parents were massacred. I remember the fathers and mothers who will never get to see their children and never have a chance to see their grandchildren.

I do not forget the criminals. I remember the 237 policemen who pulled the trigger; the arch criminal and mastermind who pulled the fingers of the policemen who pulled the trigger and the flunkies who followed the orders of the mastermind and orchestrated the whole bloody carnage.

I will always remember in November, and in December and in January and in February and in April…

Rebuma E. Ergata, 34, mason; Melesachew D. Alemnew, 16, student; Hadra S. Osman, 22, occup. unknown; Jafar S.  Ibrahim, 28,  sm. business; Mekonnen, 17, occup. unknown; Woldesemayat, 27, unemployed; Beharu M. Demlew, occup. unknown; Fekade Negash, 25, mechanic; Abraham Yilma, 17, taxi; Yared B. Eshete, 23, sm. business; Kebede W. G. Hiwot, 17, student; Matios G. Filfilu, 14, student;Getnet A. Wedajo, 48, Sm. business; Endalkachew M. Hunde, 18, occup. unknown; Kasim A. Rashid, 21, mechanic; Imam A. Shewmoli, 22,  sm. business; Alye Y. Issa, 20, laborer; Samson N. Yakob, 23, pub. trspt.; Alebalew A. Abebe, 18, student; Beleyu B. Za, 18, trspt. asst.; Yusuf A. Jamal, 23, occup. student; Abraham S. W.  Agenehu, 23, trspt. asst.; Mohammed H. Beka, 45, farmer; Redela K. Awel, 19, taxi Assit., Habtamu A. Urgaa, 30, sm. Business.  Dawit F. Tsegaye, 19, mechanic; Gezahegne M. Geremew, 15, student; Yonas A. Abera, 24, occup. unknown; Girma A. Wolde, 38, driver; W/o Desta U. Birru, 37, sm. business; Legese T. Feyisa, 60, mason; Tesfaye D. Bushra, 19, shoe repairman; Binyam D. Degefa, 18, unemployed.

 

Million K. Robi, 32, trspt. asst.; Derege D. Dene, 24,  student; Nebiyu A. Haile, 16, student; Mitiku U. Mwalenda, 24, domestic worker; Anwar K. Surur, 22, sm. business; Niguse Wabegn, 36, domestic worker; Zulfa S. Hasen, 50, housewife; Washun Kebede, 16, student; Ermia F. Ketema, 20, student; 00428, 25, occup. unknown; 00429, 26, occup. unknown; 00430, 30, occup. unknown; Adissu Belachew, 25, occup. unknown; Demeke K. Abebe,uk, occup. unknown; 00432, 22, occup. unknown; 00450, 20, occup. unknown; 13903, 25, occup. unknown; 00435, 30, occup. unknown. 13906, 25, occup. unknown; Temam Muktar, 25, occup. unknown; Beyne N. Beza, 25, occup. unknown; Wesen Asefa, 25, occup. unknown; Abebe Anteneh, 30, occup. unknow; Fekadu Haile, 25, occup. unknow; Elias Golte, uk, occup. unknown; Berhanu A. Werqa, uk, occup. unknown.

 

Asehber A. Mekuria, uk, occup. unknown; Dawit F. Sema, uk, occup. unknown, Merhatsedk Sirak, 22, occup. unknown; Belete Gashawtena, uk, occup. unknown;  Behailu Tesfaye, 20, occup. unknown; 21760, 18, occup. unknown; 21523, 25, occup. unknown; 11657, 24, occup. unknown; 21520, 25, occup. unknown; 21781, 60, occup. unknown; Getachew Azeze, 45, occup. unknown; 21762, 75, occup. unknown; 11662,45, occup. unknown; 21763, 25, occup. unknown; 13087, 30, occup. unknown; 21571, 25, occup. unknown; 21761, 21, occup. unknown; 21569, 25, occup. unknown; 13088, 30,  occup. unknown; Endalkachew W. Gabriel, 27, occup. unknown.

 

Hailemariam Ambaye, 20, occup. unknown; Mebratu W. Zaudu,27, occup. unknown; Sintayehu E. Beyene, 14, occup. unknown; Tamiru Hailemichael, uk, occup. unknown; Admasu T. Abebe, 45, occup. unknown; Etenesh Yimam, 50, occup. unknown; Werqe Abebe, 19, occup. unknown; Fekadu Degefe, 27, occup. unknown Shemsu Kalid, 25, occup. unknown; Abduwahib Ahmedin, 30, occup. unknown; Takele Debele, 20, occup. unknown, Tadesse Feyisa,38,  occup. unknown; Solomon Tesfaye, 25, occup. unknown; Kitaw Werqu, 25, occup. nknown; Endalkachew Worqu, 25, occup. unknow; Desta A. Negash, 30, occup. unknown; Yilef Nega, 15, occup. unknown; Yohannes Haile, 20, occup. unknown; Behailu T. Berhanu, 30, occup. unknown; Mulu K. Soresa, 50, housewife, Teodros Gidey Hailu, 23, shoe salesman; Dejene Yilma Gebre, 18, store worker; Ougahun Woldegebriel, 18, student; Dereje Mamo Hasen, 27, carpenter.

 

Regassa G. Feyisa, 55, laundry worker; Teodros Gebrewold, 28, private business; Mekonne D. G.Egziaber, 20, mechanic; Elias G. Giorgis, 23, student; Abram A. Mekonnen, 21, laborer; Tiruwerq G.Tsadik, 41, housewife; Henok H. Mekonnen; 28, occup. unknown; Getu S. Mereta, 24, occup. unknown;W/o Kibnesh Meke Tadesse, 52, occup. unknown; Messay A. Sitotaw, 29, private business; Mulualem N. Weyisa, 15, Ayalsew Mamo, 23, occup. unknown; Sintayehu Melese, 24, laborer;  W/o Tsedale A. Birra, 50, housewife; Abayneh Sara Sede, 35, tailor; Fikremariam K. Telila, 18, chauffer; Alemayehu Gerba, 26, occup. unknown; George G. Abebe,36, private trspt.; Habtamu Zegeye Tola, 16, student; Mitiku Z. G. Selassie, 24, student; Tezazu W. Mekruia, 24, private business; Fikadu A. Dalige, 36,  tailor; Shewaga B. W.Giorgis, 38, laborer; Alemayehu E. Zewde, 32, textile worker; Zelalem K. G.Tsadik, 31, taxi driver; Mekoya M. Tadesse, 19, student; Hayleye G. Hussien, 19, student; W/o Fiseha T. G.Tsadik, 23, police employee; Wegayehu Z. Argaw, 26, unemployed.

 

Melaku M. Kebede, 19, occup. unknown; Abayneh D. Orra, 25, tailor; W/o Abebch B. Holetu, 50, housewife;  Demeke A. Jenbere, 30, farmer; Kinde M. Weresu, 22, unemployed; Endale A. G.Medhin, 23, private business; Alemayehu T. Wolde,24, teacher; Bisrat T. Demisse, 24, car importer; Mesfin H. Giorgis, 23, private business, Welio H. Dari, 18, private business, Behailu G. G.Medhin, 20, private business; Siraj Nuri Sayed, 18, student; Iyob G.Medhin, 25, student; Daniel W. Mulugeta,25, laborer; Teodros K. Degefa,25, shoe factory worker; Gashaw T. Mulugeta, 24, student; Kebede B. Orke, 22, student; Lechisa K. Fatasa, 21, student; Jagama B. Besha,20, student; Debela O. Guta, 15, student; Melaku T. Feyisa, 16, student; W/o Elfnesh Tekle, 45, occup. unknown; Hassen Dula, 64, occup. unknown; Hussien Hassen Dula, 25, occup. unknown; Dejene Demisse,15, occup. unknown; Name unknown; Name unknown;  Name unknown; Zemedkun Agdew, 18, occup. unknown;  Getachew A. Terefe, 16, occup. unknown; Delelegn K. Alemu, 20, occup. unknown; Yusef M. Oumer,20, occup. unknown.

 

Mekruria T. Tebedge, 22, occup. unknown; Bademe M. Teshamahu, 20, occup. unknown; Ambaw Getahun,38, occup. unknown; Teshome A. Kidane, 65, health worker; Yosef M. Regassa, uk, occup. unknown; Abiyu Negussie, uk, occup. uk; Tadele S. Behaga,uk, occup. unknown; Efrem T. Shafi,uk, occup. unknown; Abebe H. Hama, uk, occup. unknown; Gebre Molla, uk, occup. unknown; Seydeen Nurudeen, uk, occup. unknown; Eneyew G. Tsegaye, 32, trspt. asst; Abdurahman H. Ferej, 32, wood worker; Ambaw L. Bitul, 60, leather factory worker; Abdulmenan Hussien, 28, private business; Jigsa T. Setegn, 18, student; Asefa A. Negassa, 33, carpenter; Ketema K. Unko, 23, tailor; Kibret E. Elfneh, 48, private guard; Iyob G. Zemedkun, 24, private business; Tesfaye B. Megesha,15, private business; Capt. Debesa S. Tolosa, 58, private business;Tinsae M. Zegeye,14,  tailor;Kidana G. Shukrow,25, laborer;Andualem Shibelew, 16, student; Adissu D. Tesfahun, 19, private business; Kassa Beyene Yror,28, clothes sales; Yitagesu Sisay,22, occup. unknown; Unknown, 22, occup. unknown.

Police and security officers killed by friendly fire (security officers  killed in each other’s crossfire): Nega Gebre, Jebena Desalegn,  Mulita Irko, Yohannes Solomon, Ashenafi Desalegn, Feyia Gebremenfes.

I remember the hundreds of victims maimed, injured, battered and mutilated.

List of prisoners massacred while trapped in their cells at Kaliti Prison on November 2, 2005:

Teyib Shemsu Mohammed, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. Sali Kebede, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Sefiw Endrias Tafesse Woreda, age unknown, male, charged with rape. Zegeye Tenkolu Belay, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Biyadgligne Tamene, age unknown, male, charges unknown. Gebre Mesfin Dagne, age unknown, male, charges unknown. Bekele Abraham Taye, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. Abesha Guta Mola, age unknown, male, charges unknown. Kurfa Melka Telila, convicted of making threats. Begashaw Terefe Gudeta, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [breach of peace]. Abdulwehab Ahmedin, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Tesfaye Abiy Mulugeta, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. Adane Bireda, age unknown, male, charged with murder. Yirdaw Kersema, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.

 

Balcha Alemu Regassa, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Abush Belew Wodajo, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Waleligne Tamire Belay, age unknown, male, charged with rape. Cherinet Haile Tolla, age unknown, male, convicted of robbery. Temam Shemsu Gole, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Gebeyehu Bekele Alene, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Daniel Taye Leku, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Mohammed Tuji Kene, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Abdu Nejib Nur, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Yemataw Serbelo, charged with rape. Fikru Natna’el Sewneh, age unknown, male, charged with making threats. Munir Kelil Adem, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. Haimanot Bedlu Teshome, age unknown, male, convicted of infringement. esfaye Kibrom Tekne, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Workneh Teferra Hunde, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.

 

Sisay Mitiku Hunegne, charged with fraud. Muluneh Aynalem Mamo, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Taddese Rufe Yeneneh, charged with making threats. Anteneh Beyecha Qebeta, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. Zerihun Meresa, age unknown, male, convicted of damage to property. Wogayehu Zerihun Argaw, charged with robbery. Bekelkay Tamiru,  age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Yeraswork Anteneh, age unknown, male, charged with fraud. Bazezew Berhanu, age unknown, male, charged with engaging in homosexual act. Solomon Iyob Guta, age unknown, male, charged with rape. Asayu Mitiku Arage, age unknown, male, charged with making threats. Game Hailu Zeye, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [public disorder] Maru Enawgaw Dinbere, age unknown, male, charged with rape. Ejigu Minale, age unknown, male, charged with attempted murder. Hailu Bosne Habib, age unknown, male, convicted of providing sanctuary. Tilahun Meseret, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Negusse Belayneh, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Ashenafi Abebaw, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Feleke Dinke, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Jenbere Dinkineh Bilew, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [public disorder].

 

Tolesa Worku Debebe, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Mekasha Belayneh Tamiru, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. Yifru Aderaw, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Fantahun Dagne, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Tibebe Wakene Tufa, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. Solomon Gebre Amlak, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. Banjaw Chuchu Kassahun, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Demeke Abeje, age unknown, male, charged with attempted murder. 58. Endale Ewnetu Mengiste, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Alemayehu Garba, age unknown, male, detained in connection with Addis Ababa University student  demonstration in 2004.  Morkota Edosa, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.

 

For the RecordThere is a certified list of at least 237 police and security officers known to be directly involved in these massacres.

I remember Yenesew Gebre

Yenesew Gebre On 11/11/11, Yenesew Gebre, a 29 year-old Ethiopian school teacher and human rights activist set himself ablaze outside a public meeting hall in the town of Tarcha located in Dawro Zone in Southern Ethiopia. He died three days later from his injuries.  Before torching himself, Yenesew told a gathered  crowd outside of a meeting hall, “In a country where there is no justice and no fair administration, where human rights are not respected, I will sacrifice myself so that these young people will be set free.” I remember Yenesew Gebre …

“I remember the killers, I remember the victims, even as I struggle to invent a thousand and one reasons to hope.  Because I remember, I despair. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair. Hope is possible beyond despair.” Elie Wiesel.

======================

For additional data on massacre victims, see Testimony of Yared Hailemariam, Ethiopian Human Rights Defender, “CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY IN ETHIOPIA: THE ADDIS ABABA MASSACRES OF JUNE AND NOVEMBER 2005” before the EXTRAORDINARY JOINT COMMITTEE MEETING THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT COMMITTEES ON DEVELOPMENT AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AND SUB-COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS May 15, 2006.

** The Inquiry Commission completely exonerated the victims of the massacre and pinned the entire blame on the police and paramilitary forces.  The Commission concluded, “There was no property destroyed [by protesters]. There was not a single protester who was armed with a gun or a hand grenade as reported by the government-controlled media that some of the protesters were armed with guns and bombs. [The shots fired by government forces] were not intended to disperse the crowd but to kill by targeting the head and chest of the protesters.”

The Commission’s list of 193 victims includes only those deaths that occurred on June 6-8 and November 1-4, 2005, the specific dates the Commission was authorized to investigate. The Commission has an additional list of victims of extra-judicial killings by regime police and security forces which it did not publicly report because the killings occurred outside the dates the Commission was authorized to investigate.

Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino and is a practicing defense lawyer.

Previous commentaries by the author are available at:

http://open.salon.com/blog/almariam/

www.huffingtonpost.com/alemayehu-g-mariam/

Amharic translations of recent commentaries by the author may be found at:

http://www.ecadforum.com/Amharic/archives/category/al-mariam-amharic

http://ethioforum.org/?cat=24

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Posted by on November 18, 2013. Filed under FEATURED,NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

One Response to Ethiopia: I Always Remember in November and in…

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