Ethiopia: MPs visit notorious jail

by Engidu Woldie

ESAT News (December 13, 2018)

Members of the Ethiopian parliament paid a visit to the now closed Ma’ekelawi, an infamous jail in the capital Addis Ababa where political prisoners have been tortured.

After international outcry over torture and abuse of prisoners at the jail, which also doubled as the “central investigation bureau,” the government announced in April 2018 that it had shutdown the prison.

The MPs today had a chance to look at the rows of small rooms that were once the home of political dissidents and critical journalists.

The jail is now serving as a temporary shelter for people displaced from the recent violence in Burayu, outside the capital Addis Ababa.

A documentary released on Tuesday on the national television exposed horrific abuses by interrogators of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), who were in charge of the jail.

Prisoners spoke of torture techniques like pulling genitals with pliers and flogging while being tied to poles. Some have lost their lives as a result of the torture.

The MPs also paid a visit to Kaliti prison where suspects of high level corruption were held following the recent crackdown by government the government against corruption.