By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Most of the 10,000 imprisoned individuals under the pretext of “extremist” and “anti-peace elements” are Amhara natives, a member of Addis Ababa City Council said. Police Commissioner of the City refuted on his part that his commission does not arrest on the basis of ethnicity, Ethiopia Insider reported.
Kassa Teshager (PhD) who joined the City Council by representing the ruling Prosperity Party from Yeka Sub-City, said this last Saturday, 08 July 2023, at a regular meeting of the City Council. The Council Member said that “the treatment of detainees is not humane”.
While presenting the plan execution report of 2015 Ethiopian Fiscal Year, City Mayor, Adanech Abebie raised among other things, the issue of peace and security. She said that over 2,000 “anti-peace elements” who were allegedly involved to endanger the peace and security of the City were prosecuted.
Following the report on security affairs, the Mayor, Kassa Teshager (PhD) discussed the number of detainees mentioned in the report. He said the number of detainees available with him “is much higher”. “What has been indicated in the report is 2,000. My evidence, however, indicates it is over 10, 000,” he said.
Kassa said that most of the individuals being imprisoned en-masse under the pretext of “extreme forces, anti-peace elements” are natives of Amhara. “Intellectuals, activists, journalists, members of special forces… all these are being detained in the City,” Kassa said. He further said that the suspects were neither supplied with food nor allowed to appear before court in due process of law.
The Member of the City Council has also said that several Amharas working in shades were deemed to be “safe havens for extremist forces”. He further said that those who have legal documents had their houses demolished. Kassa requested on the occasion that he has come with his points to get an explanation on the issue of fairness.
Kassa said that, “the wrongdoing we inflict on people [today] is dangerous tomorrow for our unity.” He enquired the City Administration to give him an explanation regarding the issue he raised.
Addis Ababa Police Commission Commissioner, Getu Argaw, one of the officials who responded to the questions raised by members of the Council, said that the figure quoted by Dr. Kassa was “exaggerated”. The Police Commissioner told the members of the Addis Ababa Council that the number of individuals arrested on suspicion of “violence” and “terror” is 2,724. He further said that the cases of these suspects compiled into 1,296 files are under review.
Gethu dismissed the complaints forwarded by the Council Member that his commission “does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity at the police level”.
Commissioner Getu has also refuted the accusation on the provision of food to prisoners. Mudslinging an institution that is working for the public to ensure peace and tranquillity is not appropriate, he said.
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