'BECAUSE I AM OROMO’ Amnesty International Report

November 19, 2014

“I was arrested for about eight months. Some school students had been arrested, so their classmates had a demonstration to ask where they were and for them to be released. I was accused of organising the demonstration because the government said my father supported the OLF so I did too and therefore I must be the one who is organising the students.”

Young man from Dodola Woreda, Bale Zone1

The anticipation and repression of dissent in Oromia manifests in many ways. The below are some of the numerous and varied individual stories contained in this report:

A student told Amnesty International how he was detained and tortured in Maikelawi Federal Police detention centre because a business plan he had prepared for a competition was alleged to be underpinned by political motivations. A singer told how he had been detained, tortured and forced to agree to only sing in praise of the government in the future. A school girl told Amnesty International how she was detained because she refused to give false testimony against someone else. A former teacher showed Amnesty International where he had been stabbed and blinded in one eye with a bayonet during torture in detention because he had refused to ‘teach’ his students propaganda about the achievements of the ruling political party as he had been ordered to do. A midwife was arrested for delivering the baby of a woman who was married to an alleged member of the Oromo Liberation Front. A young girl told Amnesty International how she had successively lost both parents and four brothers through death in detention, arrest or disappearance until, aged 16, she was left alone caring for two young siblings. An agricultural expert employed by the government told how he was arrested on the accusation he had incited a series of demonstrations staged by hundreds of farmers in his area, because his job involved presenting the grievances of the farmers to the government. [Read Full Report]

Ethiopia Amnesty International Report

From left: Woman beaten during interrogation in her home about her husband’s whereabouts and Businessman, arrested on the accusation he gave money to the OLF, and arbitrarily detained and tortured in an unofficial place of detention in a private house, before being taken to a prison

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