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From Shagar city property destruction to grand bribery at Addis Ababa detention camps: tragic experience of my ethnically profiled parents (part 2)

Shager City Property destruction
Demolition in the outskirts of Addis Ababa (Photo : file/SM)

By Rita Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), in its public statement on 14 August 2023, indicated that “in Addis Ababa city administration, there has been widespread arrest of civilians who are of ethnic Amhara origin. EHRC has received multiple reports from families and friends of detainees, but the Commission has not yet been granted access to monitor the conditions of detentions since the declaration of the State of Emergency.”

My ethnically profiled mother has been one of the people who have been arrested in Addis Ababa and detained in a concentration camp soon after the federal government of Ethiopia waged a war against the people of Amhara/Fano. My mom was arrested on the pretext that she has been supporting the Amhara struggle/Fano. However, she has never participated in any political party or even made no donations to any political organizations. She is a devout Christian and in fact has very limited awareness of and interest in Ethiopian politics. My father was away on business travel when the massive arrest of ethnically profiled victims including my mother was taking place.

Before my mother was taken into the detention/ concentration camp, my parent’s home was illegally but thoroughly searched by the ‘security personnel’. I’ve heard that no document or any other evidence in support of my parent’s participation in the Amhara/Fano struggle for justice was discovered except for receipts from my monetary contribution to a party (Ethiopian citizens for social justice party)) which has no relation with the Amhara people/Fano struggle. I was/am still puzzled as to why my participation in a legal party politics could lead to ethnic profiling and eventual arrest of my mother.

When my father was back from his business trip, his priority was to look for the concentration camp where my mom was detained. However, the security personnel were not cooperative enough to let him know her whereabouts. He was able to locate the concentration camp where mom was detained a week after her arrest for something she has no knowledge of. My dad told me that the security personnel were very hateful and disrespectful. Apart from the ethnic profiling, the detainees did not really know why they had been taken to a concentration camp. It has been like hijacking innocent victims by the ‘security forces’ who acted as a mafia. The detainees have no access to the due process of law. There have been no formal charges pressed against the innocent detainees. The detainees have simply been used as bargaining chips by the corrupt state security forces so that they could get instant wealth from the victims. Each innocent detainee must ‘negotiate’ with the security personnel if she/he wish to be released from the concentration camp, Our ethnically profiled and ‘hijacked’ innocent people such as my mom have been forced to reach out to their family member who needs to pay hundreds of thousands even millions of Birr as a bribe for the ‘security personnel’. The detention of innocent ethnically profiled civilians has now become a business opportunity for the cruel mafia-like security apparatus of the state. Many of the ethnically profiled detainees have been forced to lose their lifetime savings by paying bribes to the corrupt security personnel. If you fail to pay, then you will remain detained in the concentration camp indefinitely.

Ethiopia, which my dad used to call it as his ‘utopia’, has now become a mafia state. However, the international community has limited awareness of the tragedy that our people are experiencing.

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  1. all this because of some misguided story passed from generation to generation in hate-filled oromo huts…what does this nitwit have to say about this and do we have to recognize such mfaia gvernance


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