EMF(15 May 2009) Meles Zenawi ‘s regime is becoming more and more surveillance state as it is tapping and intercepting the phone calls of thousands of citizens without any warrant every day, telecom employee said.
Ms. Hanna Merga, former telecommunications corporation employee told the OLF news service that, not only police and security services, the TPLF authorities also gave direct order to the telecommunications corporation’s employees to record the telephone conversation of anybody they want.
Interception of private mails, emails and phone on suspected addresses of opposition members is not a new phenomenon in Ethiopia, where telephone and internet services are under ruling-party monopoly. The regime has also blocked access to all pro-democracy websites by security agents with the help of Chinese experts.
The job seems now done openly by telephone operators, as the the TPLF is short of security agents to tap thousands of conversations a day.
Ms. Hanna Merga, who now escaped to a neighboring country, had worked at several capacities as operator and later as a manager of operators in the Govt’ controlled Ethiopian Telecom corporation.
She said the operators were ordered to tape conversations of suspected opposition members including suspects of the OLF and CUD party. Government employees; esp., teachers, agricultural sector and lawyers are also most targeted.
Almost two decades in power and unwilling to leave power, such act of Meles Zenawi is certainly to crack down on everybody who may be considered to be a dissent.
Human rights groups say this act is a direct violation of Artcle 12 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human rights, Article 17 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political rights and Article 8 of the 1950 Convention for the protection of Human Rights and fundamental Freedoms.