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Balderas party says leaders mistreated in prison

Eskinder Nega, Balderal leader. Photo credit : Mereja TV

July 8, 2020

Balderas for Genuine Democracy Party said on Wednesday that detained leaders, the president and the vice-president of the party, are mistreated in prison.

Eskinder Nega, the president, and Sintayehu Chekol, his vice-president, claimed that they were beaten by security forces when they were detained last week in the days following the assassination of the singer Hachalu Hundessa.

Attorney General, Adanech Abebe, said that Eskinder Nega and his deputy were mobilizing youth in Addis Ababa for violence, and “armed them with machetes.” 

Balderas Party said they were arrested on trumped-up charges, and did not get access to medication, as reported by DW Amharic on Wednesday.

Ethiopian Human Rights Commissioner, Daniel Bekele, said that he had paid a visit to the prison in the capital Addis Ababa on Friday last week to see the condition of prisoners. Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba reported no physical attack or harm during or after their arrest.

On the other hand, Eskinder Nega and Shemsedin Taha (Oromia Media Network employee) reported that they were beaten. 

The Commissioner also reported that the prisoners complained about not meeting with family members, but the prohibition has something to do with the coronavirus situation and the prevention policy.

In a related development, Abronet for the Federal Ethiopia Party said that its leader, Yilkal Getenet, is arrested in connection with the crisis in the aftermath of Hachalu Hundessa’s killing when he had nothing to do with it.  The party called for the immediate release of its leader.

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  1. All prisoners should be treated with the level of protection from violence. Once a person is in custody he is rendered harmless and helpless. His /her right to protection from violence while incarcerated is in the hands of the arresting regime. The regime bears the responsibility of controlling its rogue police officers and guards. This physical violence on Obbo Eskinder and his colleague must be investigated by an independent body and the finding must be made public. I also heard that some of the prisoners have decided to go on a hunger strike. They must be force fed. It is all a stunt.

    • Prisoners in Ethiopia get a food worth $20 birrs per person each day. With no outside family visit or family delivering food for the prisoners $20 birrs worth food a day per person is not humane, especially in the CoronaVirus era their health disease immunity is at stake. The Balderas are also put in cold and smelly cells purposely endangering their respiratory health besides suffering from hunger. They are not on a strike as this iKekam Feraj said above.


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