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Ethiopien - Arresterede fredelige demonstranter løslades!

ETHIOPIA: Police release detained protestors

IRINnews.org, 11. november 2005

Ethiopisk politi oplyser, at de har løsladt 2.417 personer, som blev arresteret under sidste uges demonstrationer. Vurderinger fra Amnesty International og andre mennesterettighedsorganisationer har tidligere anslået antallet af arresterede til mere end 4.000. Derudover blev mindst 46 personer dræbt. USA og EU har fremsendt officielle anmodninger om at løslade alle tilbageholdte, men der er ingen tegn på at premierminister Meles Zenawi har til sinds at bukke under for et internationalt pres.

ADDIS ABABA, 11 Nov 2005 (IRIN) - Ethiopian police said on Thursday they had released 2,417 people who were seized during violent protests in Addis Ababa last week, but did not indicate how many more people were still in detention.

In a statement, the police said those who had been freed had played no part in the demonstrations against the outcome of the 15 May parliamentary elections, where at least 46 people were killed in clashes with police.

Some prisoners were released from Ziway detention camp, 150 km south of the capital. Others were released from Dedesa military camp, 400 km west of Addis Abba, and from the capital's central police station.

The move came as human rights groups condemned the roundup and joined the growing clamour for prisoners to be freed. Amnesty International said they believed 4,000 people were being held, although some Western diplomats said the number was even higher.

As part of a massive crackdown, police seized leaders of the main opposition group, members of local civil society organisations and newspaper editors, who will face charges of treason, a crime punishable by death in Ethiopia.

On Monday, the government issued a list of wanted people, which included 17 publishers and editors of eight private, Amharic-language weekly newspapers.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said at least six journalists were detained. They were Zekarias Tesfaye, publisher of the weekly Netsanet; Dereje Habtewolde, deputy editor of Netsanet; Fassil Yenealem, publisher of the weekly Addis Zena; and Wosonseged Gebrekidan, editor-in-chief of Addis Zena.

Two editors of Hadar who were arrested on 2 November remained in detention. Dawit Kebede, editor-in-chief of Hadar, and deputy editor Feleke Tibebu were still being held at the central prison in Addis Ababa.

"CPJ is appalled that Ethiopian authorities are considering using such an outrageous charge against members of the press," said Ann Cooper, executive director of CPJ. "We urge the Ethiopian government to release all detained journalists, and to end its campaign of intimidation designed to shut down the private press."

The European Union and United States have called for all political detainees to be freed.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has said his government has no intention of bowing to international pressure to release opposition leaders and others who are still being detained.

"That would not be [consistent] with the democratic practice here or anywhere else on earth," the prime minister told reporters on Wednesday. The newspaper editors and opposition members, he added, had tried to launch an "insurrection" against the government.

Meles said that detainees who were not involved in the disturbances would be released. Those being held would be treated in accordance with the laws.

The prime minister, who is known as one of the continent's more progressive leaders, pledged that his government would introduce greater democracy. Many saw the polls as a test of his commitment to reform.

Ethiopia was an absolute monarchy under Emperor Haile Selassie until the mid-1970s, when a brutal Marxist junta overthrew him. The current administration overthrew the junta in 1991.

© IRIN - This article appeared originally on IRIN News.org and is published by engelund.dk according a general agreement. To view the original article, please click here.
IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is a project of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
[This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.]



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Opdateret d. 26.12.2005