Eshetu Alemu to spend the rest of his life in prison
International Criminal Court at The Hague in the Netherlands sentenced an a Dutch citizen of Ethiopian origin for life in prison this week. Eshetu Alemu was charged with war crimes, unlawful imprisonment, torture and murder of political opponents in Ethiopia during a period known in Ethiopian history as “Red Terror”
He was specifically accused of giving order for the execution of 75 people and for the torture and unlawful detention of three hundred people under inhuman and cruel circumstances.
Eshetu Alemu, who is 63 years old now, was head of Gojjam province during the military government of Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam.
He was given asylum in the Netherlands in 1991 and took Dutch citizenship in 1998. He was detained in 2015 but did not plead guilty.
BBC quoted him as saying “I was really shocked when I heard what prosecutors are accusing me of doing, that I could behave like that as a human being. I deny the charges against me” the four judges who were looking into his case at the Hague.
But the court passed the guilty and life in prison verdict after investigating the case from people who claimed to be eye witnesses.
He was sentenced to death in absentia in Ethiopia.
In 2011, 23 members of Derg officicals were released from Kaliti prison, where they spent more than twenty years serving life sentence after they were convicted for crime against humanity. They were released on parole.
In 2014, Kefelegn Alemu Worku,now 65, was arrested in Denver, Colorado, on grounds that he lied about his participation during the ” Red Terror” in Ethiopia to gain immigration status in the United States. The court sentenced him for 22 years in prison and he will face charges for crimes against humanity if he comes out from prison alive.
Unlawful political killings still common in Ethiopia under the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front party. This week, the United States Embassy in Addis Ababa called on government to investigate the killing of civilians at Chelenko town and various universities to hold those responsible accountable to it.
Join the conversation. Like borkena on Facebook and get Ethiopian News updates regularly. As well, you may get Ethiopia News by following us on twitter @zborkena