Blaise Compaoré, un autocrate africano, ospite d'onore dell'Italia. Ragioni di stato o clamorosa svista?
Dal 9 al 11 ottobre si svolge la 1° Conferenza dell'Expo dei Popoli, promossa da Comune di Milano, Comitato Expo dei Popoli che è composto da diverse organizzazioni del volontariato e della società civile italiane e internazionali e rappresentanti dei contadini dei paesi del sud del mondo. Gli incontri e le tavole rotonde si tengono tra le aule dell'Università Statale e negli spazi dell'Acquario Civica.
Tra i partecipanti ci sono degli agronomi, dei contadini, degli ambientalisti, dei giornalisti arrivati a Milano dai paesi europei e dal sud del mondo: Italia, Francia, Belgio,Gambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Haiti, Peru, Brasile, ecc.
Abdoulaye Pap Kouma
Laura Silvia Battaglia
Fine settembre 2012. Delle famiglie del Burkina Faso sono con le spalle al muro. Il motivo: le notizie provenienti dalla Guinea Equatoriale e dalla frontiera congo-angolana non sono buone; numerosi giovani cittadini del Burkina sono in stato di arresto in quella parte dell'Africa situata a 2.500 Km in linea d'aria a Sud dei confini del loro Paese.
Meno di un anno dopo l'operazione "Unified Protector" della Nato in Libia, la guerra migra in Mali. Istantanee dall'Africa post Gheddafi.
In Senegal la lotta alla tubercolosi è soprattutto un battaglia culturale. Ma con i giusti strumenti e grazie all'impegno di 47 donne, forse può esser...
Bruno Cerella della Cimberio Varese è uno dei protagonisti del progetto che aiuta i bambini di Nairobi e insegna loro il basket e i principi del sano ...
Addis Ababa, the sitting of the head quarter of the African Union (AU), looks fresh more than ever been. The old and dirty streets of the city are wel...
"We were 16 people. Once we first arrived inside the house, we were asked for money. One guy said straight away that he won't be able to pay. They [th...
"We were 16 people. Once we first arrived inside the house, we were asked for money. One guy said straight away that he won't be able to pay. They [the captors] wanted to make him an example; so they undressed him in front of us and started beating and poking him with big wooden sticks. They then inserted a stick into his... He was bleeding all over. After more beatings, they poured petrol on him and set him on fire. After he died, they left his body in the room with us until it became rotten and worms started crawling. They forced all of us in turns to hold him."
This story may seem to be taken from a Hollywood horror movie as it is so horrific. But, unfortunately, it is a true story. It is what an Eritrean survivor, held captive in Sinai for eight months after being kidnapped from Eastern Sudan, said recently while describing his ordeal to Amnesty International.
Kidnapped mostly from Eastern Sudan, many Ethiopian, Somali, and Eritrean refugees are held captive in Sinai Desert by Bedouin criminal gangs [people-traffickers] with the objective to obtain tens of thousands of dollars in ransom money in exchange for their release. During their captivity, they are subjected to several acts of extreme violence and brutality, including rape of men and women and other forms of sexual violence. Some of those who are unable to pay a ransom are simply killed like what we have seen here above in the story; some others are murdered to demonstrate to the families of other captives the seriousness of the threats. Many die as a result of routine torture.
Lamlam, 17, is another survivor. She experienced extremely brutal abuses. She says that everything was a nightmare more than one can imagine. "The kidnappers would make me lie on my back and then they would get me to ring my family to ask them to pay the ransom they wanted," she says. "As soon as one of my parents answered the phone, the men would melt flaming plastic over my back and inner thighs and I would scream and scream in pain. This, they hoped, would put extra pressure on my mother and father to find the money."
The New York Times estimates that 7,000 Ethiopian, Somali, and Eritrean refugees have been abused this way over the last four years, and that 4,000 of them have died. The victims include men, women, children, and even accompanying infants. The majorities of them are also estimated to be aged between 15—25. However, some NGOs and international organizations place the number of the victims far higher. According to different human rights organizations, this new form of brutal 'business' has been escalating, as the impunity guaranteed to the criminals continues. Reports indicate that there have been no prosecutions of criminals responsible for the abuses so far.
Different testimonies and reports shows that the methods of tortures that are often used to increase the urgency of captives' pleas to relatives to pay the money to secure their release are extremely brutal and often lead to a wish to die. These include electrocution; pouring gasoline over the body and setting it on fire; burning with cigarette butts or heated rubber and metal objects; water-drowning; amputation of limbs; beatings with objects such as metal chains, sticks and whips; suspension from the ceiling and suspension in contorted positions for prolonged periods of time; hanging by hair; and forcing to stand for extended periods of time in desert heat. According to testimonies, captives often face a combination of these all methods.
In its latest report Amnesty International said that victims have also reported having fingernails pulled out. The group further said: "Many have also reportedly been deprived of food, water, medical treatment and showers for prolonged periods. Many former captives also reported being chained throughout the duration of their captivity, often to other captives." A research conducted by Tilburg University and Europe External Policy Advisors shows that women are tortured while pregnant – and their pregnancies are often the result of the rapes they suffer. If they find themselves pregnant, women hostages are told that the ransom will double once their baby is born. Many hostages succumb to the torture. This torture can be functional as it takes place to extort the ransom from relatives, but it can also be gratuitous.
Different reports indicate that ransoms are often paid despite the amounts demanded by the criminals are very excessive—often from USD 30,000 —50,000. Relatives sell their possessions such as houses and lands, to get the money demanded and free the hostages suffering from extreme acts of brutality; many borrow while some go from church to church begging people to contribute. Some hostages are, however, killed even after their ransom has been paid after many up and down.
Kidnapping in Eastern Sudan
Many Ethiopian, Somali, and Eritrean, who left their repressive and impoverished countries in search of a better security and life, get kidnapped and become hostage every single day. The significant majority of the victims are, however, Eritrean. Different researches indicate Eritrean refugees are often kidnapped on their way to refuge camps in East Sudan, where asylum-seekers undergo a refugee status determination procedure and are issued with documentation. There are, however, significant reports of kidnapping from inside refuge camps, particularly from Shagarab. There are also some incidents from Mai Aini camp in Ethiopia.
The kidnappings are mainly carried out by Sudanese criminal networks made up of local tribesmen with the support of different individuals— often Eritreans. There are also allegations of the involvement of members of the Sudanese security forces and corrupted Eritrean military officials working around Eritrea-Sudan border. According to testimonies, once the Eritreans refugees are kidnapped, they are soon sold to the major criminal gangs known as Rashaida in East Sudan. They are then forcibly transported to Sinai in harrowing journeys that last for several weeks, and sold to Bedouin criminal networks that held them hostage and torture them to extract ransom payments from their families. Reports indicate that during the journey to Sinai refugees are subjected to violence, including beatings and rape, and cruel treatment, including deprivation of food and water.
Addis Ababa, the sitting of the head quarter of the African Union (AU), looks fresh more than ever been. The old and dirty streets of the city are well cleaned; the old bulbs and roadside light poles are being replaced with new ones; and most areas are bedecked with flags. After months of preparation, the city is now expecting its gusts for the long awaited celebration of the 50th anniversary of the African Union (AU), formerly the Origination of Africa Unity (OAU).
Independent human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty international, and the Anti-Torture Committee of the United Nations have several times reported of systematic persecution as well as use of violence and torture against Ethiopian journalists, opposition political leaders and members as well as anyone who are critical of the tyrannical regime. Amnesty International, for instance, says in its press release issued on 28 August 2012 that it regularly received several information about the use of torture in pre-trial and arbitrary detention.
However, despite the fact that there are so many reports about the use of torture in pre-trial and arbitrary detention in Ethiopia, none of them give clear and detail information on the subject matter. So that the issue has remained to be doughfull, for many people living abroad. Now, thanks to WikiLeaks, a marvellous report that is said to be extraordinary has been released. "INSIDE ETHIOPIA'S JAILS", the report of Mr. Donald Yamamoto, the late ambassador of USA in Ethiopia, clearly shows what the atrocious crime the tyrannical regime in Ethiopia commit against journalists and political prisoners in its dark prisons and detention centers. The report, which referenced different in-depth interviews with victims, gives most explosive information on the subject matter.
Mr. Donald Yamamoto wrote "INSIDE ETHIOPIA'S JAILS" to the Washingtone government, while he was in charge of US mission in Ethiopia. The report was intended to make the Washingtone aware of what is happening in Ethiopia, and in turn to take an approperate measure against the regime.
"INSIDE ETHIOPIA'S JAILS"
According to the report, political and other prisoners in Ethiopia are subjected to dis-speakable torture in detention centers in attempts by police and security officials to elicit confessions before cases go to trial. According to the report, the torture includes being blindfolded and hung by the wrists for several hours, bound by chains and beaten, held in solitary confinement for several days to weeks or months, subjected to mental torture such as harassment and humiliation, forced to stand for over 16 hours, and having heavy objects hung from one's genitalia.
The report also indicates that prohibiting detains from food, to taking shower, and to change clothes are also another form of torture. Regarding this the report says: "two political prisoners who were arrested for "inciting violence" following the 2005 elections told him that they had been given just one meal every two days, and had been prohibited to take shower as well as change clothes." The report further indicates that prisoners are also subjected to mental torture.
The report, which says such kinds of tortures are most common practice at the dark prisons and detention centers, says that the government detains prisoners for many years without any charge and trial. It further indicates that prisoners are also held in such prisons despite having been officially released by the courts.
According to the report, some prisoners die having failed to resist the endless tortures while others left the prisons with permanent physical injuries related to their ears, heads, hands, legs, and genitals. In this regard, the report says: "sources told the Embassy that three prisoners with whom they were detained (Tsegaye Ayele Yigzaw, Gedlu Ayele Hulu-Ante, and Argata Gobena Maru) died in jail as a result of the beatings and absence of medical treatment, and one pregnant woman (Webit Lengamo) miscarried after being severely beaten."
According to the report, one opposition official told the Embassy that he had spent one month and 18 days in a detention center named "Ma-ekelawi" in a small, dark, 4x4 meter room with 12 other prisoners. He told to the Embassy that medical treatment had not been available, and prisoners had not been allowed any visitors. He also told to the Embassy that the younger prisoners had been beaten most severely, and then denied medical treatment.
According to the report, the opposition official mentioned here above reported to the Embassy that some prisoners had told him that they had been detained for several years without being charged and without trial.
The report says: "for example, he spoke with four people who were arrested in Hargeisa, Somaliland two years ago and accused of being members of the Oromo Liberation Front, a banned insurgent movement. They have been held for two years without trial, and their families do not know of their whereabouts. Also, he spoke with one of four people who were arrested 14 years ago following the assassination attempt against Egyptian President Mubarak and held incommunicado without trial. Of the four, two have already died in prison and the two others are in very bad condition."
In addition, the report indicates the presence of corruption around detention centers. It states that the higher officials of the detention centers force prisoners' family members to pay bribes to speed up the investigation process as well as to get prisoners released. For instance, the report says: "one person told our source that her brother was in jail and had to stay there until they could figure out to whom they should pay the bribe. In another case a foreigner told our source that he was asked for a USD 50 bribe from the investigator."
Ma-ekelawi: The Dark Detention Centre
There are so many darken detention centers in Ethiopia. Some of them are known by the public whereas the others are hidden. Ma-ekelawi is one of those detention centers known by the public.
Regarding this detention center, the report states the following. "According to a British national recently released from Ma-ekelawi, the jail is divided into two sections, the "open" side and the "underground" side. In the "open" side, there are 12 cells, six on each side of an open courtyard about two meters wide. There are eight toilets and two showers, for an average of 100 prisoners at a time. In the "underground" side, there are two types of solitary confinement cells. One type of cell is reportedly not physically uncomfortable, while the other type of cell is extremely small and prisoners are forced to stand."
The Paper Tigers
"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It is what the universal declaration of human rights (UDHR), to which Ethiopia is a signatory, states under Article 5. Article 9 of the declaration also stats: "no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile." Likewise, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) adapted in 1966 and the African Charter on Human and People's Right (ACHPR) incorporate similar articles.
When we come to the constitution of Ethiopia, Article 17 and 18 of the constitution says: "no person may be subjected to arbitrary arrest, and no person may be detained without a charge or conviction against him; everyone has the right to protection against cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
However, sadly, none of the legal documents are practically protecting Ethiopians. Many Ethiopian are suffering from being subjected to torture or inhuman treatment as well as arbitrary detention, particularly journalists, opposition political leaders and anyone who are critical of the regime. This is also clearly revealed by "INSIDE ETHIOPIA'S JAILS".
When her ex-husband asked her for a permission to visit her at home and to provide a gift, Aberash Hailay, an Ethiopian Airlines flight attendant, didn't say no. She had an absolute belief that forgiving a person was necessary when he felt repentance. But, sadly, when her ex-husband arrived at home, he was not as she had expected—rather he was still with hostility and a feeling of revenge.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC), one of the ancient and the largest of all Oriental Orthodox churches in the world, is to do a controversial vote for a new patriarch to succeed Abune Paulose V, who died on 16 August 2012 leaving behind the church anxious about its unity.
Recently, the holy synod in Ethiopia has appointed the Arssi Diocese Archbishop, Abune Nathaniel as temporary managing archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and has formed an election committee consisted of more than 7 Archbishops.
Since the Ethiopian government passed anti-terrorism legislation in 2009, which criminalizes independent reporting on opposition, it has become more terrible in respecting the freedom of the press more than ever been. Recently, the government banned the last remaining independent newspaper, FINOTE NETSANET, which was serving as the only source of free information for many Ethiopians, and made the country one of the countries which don't have free and independent press at all.
ADDIS ABABA- After the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the late Ethiopian Prime Minister, the number of human right violations committed by the government on members, supporters, and representatives of All Ethiopia Unity Party (AEUP), one of the most important opposition political parties working under the narrowest political landscape of the country, has been alarmingly increasing. Different reports are indicating that after the death of the Prime Minister thousands of members and supporters of the AEUP have become victims of the brutal human right violations committed by the Ethiopian government just due to their political belief. The victims also include women, children and retired people.
Mr. Wondemagegnhu Deneke, the vice president of AEUP said in an interview on November 10, 2012 that following the death of the Prime Minister the head office of the party received a plenty of reports every day about serious human right violations committed by the government security officers and its cadres from respective branch offices located in different parts of the country.
"Let me tell you what the report I have received an hour ago says", said Mr. Deneke, "the day before yesterday the government security officers destroyed the houses of 10 members of the party - now these people are homeless and in complicated problem."
Mr. Deneke said that the violations include murder, torture, arbitrary arrest, preventing from participating in traditional social institutions, pillaging, destroying farms and houses, and forcibly evacuating without compensation.
The violations are said to be planned to crack down AEUP, which is the largest and most mass-based multi-ethnic party that is a potential threat to the governing party, Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which has been weakened due to the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi-who was the only master mind of the policies, strategies, and international relations of the regime.
Considering the gravity of the situation, AEUP has recently submitted a press release with the list of some of the violations to the United Nation (UN), European Union, different human rights organizations, embassies, and media.
"We need the world to look into Ethiopia and realize what is happening throughout the country", Mr. Deneke said, "we need western governments to give attention to the human rights crisis in Ethiopia and to exert pressure on the tyrannical Ethiopian government to respect the human rights and freedoms of citizens."Currently, there are multiple reports indicating that the crisis could get worse more than ever been. However, Mr. Deneke said that whatever the government did - AEUP would never give up."We are committed to accomplish our objective we stand for. We will keep struggling to step-down the tyrannical regime, and to assure the full respect of individual and people's fundamental rights and freedoms."
Following the press release of AEUP, many Ethiopian political activists are arguing that the steadily deteriorating human right situation clearly illustrates that the leadership of Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, the new Ethiopian Prime Minister, is basically the same as Meles Zenawi's one.
Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn has come to power replacing Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who died of an undisclosed illness on August 20 in a Belgium hospital. Following his coming to power, it was expected that the poor human right record of Meles Zenawi's leadership would be improved.
Ethiopia is a one party state with no freedom of assembly and freedom of the media, and is where opposition forces critical of the government are silenced in the most brutal fashion. Under Meles Zenawi's 21 years leadership, the ruling party, EPRDF, was deliberately involved itself in gross human rights abuses on citizens. The reports of Amnesty International and other human rights organizations show that under his leadership thousands of people were arbitrary arrested, torched, and evacuated from their land while many others were killed, accused of supporting opposition political parties.
For instance, the recent report of the Human Rights Council shows that from January to the end of February 120 people were arbitrary arrested just in the Gamo Gofa Zone, Southern Nation and Nationalities People Regional State. The 2012 Amnesty International Annual Report also indicates that hundreds of Oromos were arbitrary arrested, accused of supporting the Oromo Liberation Front. In addition, many other reports reveal that hundreds of civilians were arbitrarily detained, torched, and killed in the Somali region on suspicion of supporting the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).
Africa's newest film festival, the Colors of the Nile International Film Festival (CNIFF), is to be held in Addis Abeba, the capital city of Ethiopia and the setting of the headquarters of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, from 7-11 November, 2012.
Nearly two hundred thousand Ethiopian Muslims gathered at one place in and around the Addis Ababa Stadium to perform the prayer of Eid Al Adeha (Arefa), one of the most important Islamic holydays, on Friday, October 26, protested against the government interference in religious affairs.
Fin septembre 2012. Des familles burkinabè sont aux abois. Motif : les nouvelles en provenance de la Guinée Equatoriale et de la frontière
congolo-angolaises ne sont pas bonnes ; De nombreux jeunes ressortissants du Burkina sont en état d’arrestation dans cette partie de l’Afrique situé
à 2500 km à vol d’oiseaux au Sud des frontières de leur pays.
Autorizzazione del Tribunale di Milano n° 132 del marzo 2009.