“They hanged me for three days, tortured me at Maekelawi” Awoke Abate

Name:- Aweke Abate

Age: – 31 years old

Address: – Woreda 05 of Kolfe Keranio sub-city of Addis Ababa
Current situation – jailed at Qilinto prison
The reason why I am jailed: – I believe the reason for my arrest is related to my activism, especially for my participation in peaceful struggle by being member of legally registered political party.
Prosecutor’s official charge against me:- Federal prosecutor charged me and five others with terrorism. Prosecutor accused me of getting involved in the political unrest occurred in Amhara regional state particularly in Gondar and Gojam. I am now attending court hearings at the 4th criminal bench of the federal high court Lideta branch.
The following rights violations are committed against me in prison:-
1. I was held in a chilly/cold and dark room in “MaekelMaekelwiwi” for 23 consecutive days.
2. My interrogator, mostly a woman with a uniform, beat me until she get tired whenever I was brought to her with my legs and arms chained.
3. The female interrogator undresses me and touched by genital and threatened me to hang plastic bottle filled with water on it. She also pulls my beard all the time; she warns the pain will keep until I confess. The torture usually continues until she gets tired.
4. The female interrogator also left me in a room alone while my legs and arms tied for long hours.
5. Couple of interrogators forced me to lay in the floor with my legs and arms tied, and beat my back and stamped on me. Especially one of them beat me hard on my back with his heavy military shoes, which I still feel the pain. They did beat me on my back with electric ropes until they get tired.
6. They insulted me all the time.
7. They hanged me on the ceiling of interrogation room for three consecutive days until I was collapsed.
8. I was held incommunicado for weeks.
9. They threatened me of killing me unless I told them what they wanted.
10. I was forced to confess and sign on confession paper about a crime I have never committed.
I was born in Machakele Woreda of East Gojjam. I came to Addis Ababa for looking both education and employment. I completed 10th grade by attending extension school program while working to support myself and my families back in rural area. I was doing my own wood works until I was arrested. I am also married and have my own family.
As part of my engagement in politics, I have been an active member of the All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP). I was also known for my active social engagement in terms of paying visits to ‘political prisoners’.
My serious back pain resulted from the torture I went through in my stay at Maekelawi remains with me. The wound on my back is not healing. I’m taking medicines only at prisons clinic. But that is not helpful to improve my health. I wish I could get better medical treatment somewhere.

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