Prison officials coercing political prisoners to take pills they didn’t ask for, nor prescribed by a doctor

ESAT News (April 26, 2016)

Four of the 22 political prisoners detained on trumped up terrorism charges told a court in Addis Ababa on Tuesday that they were asked by prison officials to take pills that they neither ask for nor prescribed by their doctor.

Refusing to take the pills, the four prisoners were separated from the rest and put in a dark cell for the last four days, Bekele Gerba, a leading member of the Oromo Federalist Congress told the court. He was one of the four prisoners asked to take the suspicious pill.

Bekele also told the court that the Kilinot prison refused to allow visits from their families. He also demanded the court for the proceedings of the trial to be open to media.

The lawyer representing the prisoners, Wondimu Ebsa told reporters that there were 83 prisoners at the Kilinto prison and 97 others at the Addis Ababa Central Investigation Bureau and other prisons in the capital.

All prisoners were charged with terrorism, a charge that the tyrannical regime use to silence independent voices, opponents and journalists. Bekele and all the other defendants were accused of orchestrating and taking part in the protest in the Oromia region.

Bekele was imprisoned for four years on terrorism charges and was just released last year.