The Ethiopian police have detained a total of 63 suspects for allegedly committing human rights violations and corruption over the past two decades.
Briefing the press on Monday, 12 November 2018, Attorney General Berhanu Tsegaye said 36 of the suspects were detained for allegedly committing human rights violations and the remaining 27 for corruption. Berhanu said the suspects were said to have committed gross violations of human rights, including torture, rape and other barbaric acts in seven secret prisons in the capital and other prisons in different parts of the country.
“Majority of the human rights violations were committed in different parts of the country against prisoners who were jailed in secret detention centres that were not recognised by the court, but readily available by senior officials of the National Intelligence and Security Service,” he said.
According to the attorney general, the 36 suspects were allegedly involved in killings, beatings, torturings, as well as burning their victims with electricity.
They were also accused of heinous acts such as pulling of the prisoners’ reproductive organ with cutting tools, hangings and beatings, as well as forcing victims to remain in scorching sunlight for several hours; refusing them meals, firing guns close to them, inserting pens into their noses and, in some cases, incarcerating these victims with wild animals. They were also accused of raping both female and male prisoners.
The remaining 27 suspects were detained for alleged involvement in corruption of the money allotted for the construction of the controversial Ethiopian Grand Renaissance (GERD) Dam Project over the Nile River.
He said the investigation carried out on the Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC) have showed that an over $2 billion worth procurement was made without an official bidding process from abroad, including the purchase of a ship and airplane, between 2011 and 2017.
The corporation has allegedly committed both foreign and domestic purchases without issuing tenders.
METEC purchased five airplanes that were 50 years old, Berhanu stated, adding that one of the airplanes has not yet been located. The attorney general confirmed that more suspects were still at large and were being hunted.