FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –
December 22, 2010 –
The Global Alliance Against Torture in Ethiopia (GAATE) is formed in response to the call from some members of Meles Zenawi’s security forces, detailing the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of political prisoners at the infamous Maekelawi Interrogation Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
We have read with horror, shame, and anger the reports about atrocities committed by Meles Zenawi’s regime against defenseless men and women. The accounts underscore the urgent need for action.
Torture is an act of moral depravity, a tool of oppression, and among the gravest human rights violations in the world. It is also a crime absolutely prohibited by international law, including the UN Convention Against Torture, which the Zenawi regime has signed and ratified in 1994.
The smuggled report reveals and documents the extensive use of torture and the savagery with which it was applied to extract false confessions. It reaffirms the need for an independent commission of inquiry into the full extent of the ruling regime’s-sponsored torture.
Numerous international and national human rights organizations, civil society groups, political parties, including the U.S. State Department annual Human Rights Report have repeatedly indicated that Ethiopian citizens are routinely denied due process of law and subjected to extra-judicial killings, torture and mass arrests. This recently published report from inside Ethiopia, by members of the security forces further confirms and serves as an irrefutable evidence of the regime’s brutality and utter disregard for the rule of law.
The Global Alliance, therefore, seeks to bring awareness about the savage crime committed against Ethiopian prisoners to the international community. The Alliance shall employ all means at its disposal to alert the international courts, civic and human rights organizations, civil right advocate, donor nations, individuals and groups to join in the effort to prevent yet another global crisis or genocide from taking place in Ethiopia.
This Global Alliance shall summon the support of attorneys, legal professionals, and experts in international human rights violation and work diligently to bring charges of crimes against humanity against Meles Zenawi and his co-conspirators at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The Global Alliance calls upon all Ethiopians and members of the civilized society to condemn state-sponsored torture and join us in our effort to bring those responsible, for authorizing the use of cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners, to be held accountable for their actions. We, also, ask all Ethiopians and human rights advocates to assist the Alliance by providing information, sharing their ideas and expertise and donating resources, in advancing the causes of saving lives and preventing ethnic cleansing and genocide in Ethiopia.
We applaud the heroism and courage of some members of the security forces for making public the full story, including how the horrific practices came to happen, the individuals in charge of the savage torture that took place at Meakelawi and individuals who are responsible for authorizing the inhuman acts.