March 10, 2014

The Ethiopian regional Administration Ogaden released 300 detainees from Jail Ogaden at midnight on March 6, 2014. Since then more than 20 twenty of the released prisoners died within the last three days. The detainees who are battered physical, mentally and morally are composed of young children born in the prison whose parents died while in custody, prisoners who lost their sight from torture and starvation, detainees who became raving mad after extensive torture and detainees who could no longer take care of themselves and are physically broken after being subjected to harsh and degrading treatment.

For the last three months the regime barred relative to take food to the detainees, while proving nothing of substance to the prisoners.

The regime’s butcher men in Ogaden were too ashamed to release the prisoners during the day and had to throw them into the streets of Jigjiga under cover of night. They later claimed they released the prisoners after cholera broke out in the prison.

ONLF categorically condemns the Ethiopian government for the crimes it is committed against the Ogaden people and in particular the inhumane treatment of the civilian population in Ogaden. The Ethiopian regime’s cowardly decision to collectively punish the civilian population after it failed to confront ONLF fighters is a crime against humanity and we condemn all those who prop this criminal regime by providing funds that enables it to continue committing such Crimes against the Ogaden people and the Ethiopian people as well.

ONLF call upon the UN to investigate the crimes committed in Ogaden as the situation in Ogaden has reached now a catastrophic level and demand that Ethiopia release all civilians detained as part of the Ethiopian regime’s collective punishment campaign in Ogaden.

Finally the international community should be aware of dire developing situation in the Ogaden as food stock dwindle and  the whole population in the territory are suffering from natural and man-made drought mainly due to  trade and aid embargo. The people are reporting that millions are starving because there is nothing to buy for even those who can afford.

Issued by the Ogaden National liberation front


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