Dutch prosecutors demand life in prison for Ethiopian war crimes suspect

ESAT News (November 9, 2017)

I what is being described as a rare move in justice in The Hague, prosecutors demand that an Ethiopian man suspected of “war crimes” in the 1970’s “Red Terror” in Ethiopia be jailed for life.

According to the AFP report, Dutch prosecutors on Wednesday called for, Eshetu Alemu, 63, a Dutch-Ethiopian national to be jailed for life for “an atrocious campaign” of war crimes during Ethiopia’s “Red Terror” in the 1970s.

“The gravity of the crimes and the interest of the victims and their relatives, call for a life sentence,” the prosecution told the trial in The Hague.

Imposing such a sentence on the suspect, Eshetu Alemu, 63, would “also make clear to the international community how serious the alleged conduct of the suspect is,” the prosecutor further said.

The prosecutors said Alemu was “responsible for an atrocious campaign” of war crimes “that include arbitrary detention, torture and killing of opponents of the 1970s revolutionary regime in Ethiopia.”

Alemu was a representative of the Mengistu Hailemariam regime in the seventies in the then Gojjam province.

Alemu has denied any crimes but prosecutors said they have identified 321 victims of which 75 were killed in one night in a church in August 1978 whose bodies were then dumped in a mass grave, the report said.