“I experienced physical harassments by a police officer” Bulti Tessema, HRCO member 

Name: – Bulti Tessema

Age: – 50 years old

Address: – Nekemtie town of western Welega zone of Oromia regional state

Current situation: – held in Qilinto prison

The reason why I am jailed: – I believe that the rationale behind my arrest is my work engagement with human rights council. (HRCo)

Prosecutor’s official charge against me:– Federal prosecutor accused me of violating Article 5(b) of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) by supporting terrorism. I am the 11th defendant under the terrorism charge file of Dereje Alemu et al. I am now attending court hearings at the federal high court Lideta branch.

The following rights violations are committed against me in prison:-

  1. I was being held incommunicado for many days with no access to family and friends visit in Maekelawi.
  2. I was held in a dark and cold room in Maekelawi.
  3. After the Qilinto prison fire, I was also denied acess to family and other visitors for long time
  4. I was among those who were transferred to Zeway prison following Qilinto fire accident. I was forced to sleep on a bare chilly asphalted floor with for 12 consecutive days.
  5. My hands were chained day and night for 12 days
  6. In Zeway prison, I experienced physical harassment by police officers.
  7. I was denied of access to food and clothes from families during my stay in Zeway prison.


I am a father of four. I am also responsible for other 3 kids that I raise with my kids. I am a responsible family man. Until my arrest, I used to report the human rights violations in Oromia region to the human rights organization that I am member. I was promoting human rights protection by explaining the objective of my institution to the residents in western Wolega. I simply lauded the need to stand firm on the issues of human rights and rule of law. Now I am detained far away from my families they come to visit me from Wolega zone of Oromia State.

(Note: The organization Bulti Tessema works for, Human Rights Council ( formerly Ethiopia human rights council), is a legally registered civic society organization established in 1992 with the aim of defending human rights, democracy, and rule of law.) 



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