ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopian police investigators in Addis Ababa’s main detention center have tortured political detainees and regularly mistreat people in custody to extract confessions, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on Friday.
The Ethiopian government, long seen by the West as a bulwark against militant Islam in the Horn of Africa, has denied frequent accusations that it uses state institutions to stifle dissent and silence political opposition.
In a report about conditions inside Addis Ababa’s Federal Police Crime Investigation Sector, known as Maekelawi, HRW said many former detainees were slapped,
According to the ‘Freedom on the Net 2013′ report, Ethiopia has been labeled as “least free” and ranked 79 from 100; 1 being the most free and 100 the least free. The report states that Ethiopia has one of the lowest internet and mobile telephone penetrations in the world as inadequate infrastructure, government monopoly over the telecom sector, and obstructive telecom policies have notably hindered the growth of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
The report further reads “Despite low access, the government maintains a strict system of control over digital media, making Ethiopia the only country in Sub Sahara Africa to implement nationwide internet filtering.”Ethiopia’s telecommunication
The African Union’s threatened “mass treaty-cide” (a phrase I am compelled to coin to describe the bizarre threatened walkout on the Rome Statute) fizzled out. Those who predicted the “extraordinary summit” on the “AU’s relation with the International Criminal Court” (ICC) would end in a big bang were pleasantly amused to see it wrap up with a whimper about “undertaking consultation with members of the UN Security Council” to seek “deferral of proceedings against the President and Deputy President of Kenya as well as the President of the Sudan in conformity with Article 16 of the Rome Statute.” After all, October 11-12, 2013 will not live in infamy as I had feared. The scheme to convince the 34 Rome Statute signatory African states to commit “mass treaty-cide” was a total flop.