Ethiopian Somalis’ Response To Human Right Report

Jigjiga(cakaaranews)Thursday 5ta July 2018. Despite the federal government collaborating with the regional government is planning to lift ONLF from the list of terrorist in nutshell, ONLF was a terrorist group. The terrorists’ strategy is clear beyond any doubt. It is to create a climate of public fear by attacking civilians and soft targets. A vivid example is more than ten thousand children who lost their beloved parents atrocities carried out by ONLF. to address the problem of  Orphans whose parents were killed by ONLF members, the government has built boarding school in jijiga and fik district.

On 04, July, 2018, Human Right watch released a baseless report on allegations of punishment and torture against prisoners in jails and lack of medical care provided to prisoners of ONLF who are in jails of Ethiopian Somali region, especially what they called jail ogaden but best known in Somali region center of rehabilitation. The report was not compiled a solid proof like documents or pictures.

It is to be recalled that in the past the regional administration of Ethiopian Somali seldom officially issued any written response to baseless allegations against Ethiopian Somali region. Certainly this is not because there was no unfounded Human Rights Watch reports, produced mostly based on hearsay supplied by opposition groups who are with disagreements with region, without any consultation with the Ethiopian Somali Government. So far, the government’s preferred response has largely been to ignore such write-ups as groundless fabrications. However, with time the scale of denigration is reaching a stage where the less informed in the international community could be misled about the truth and objective situation in present-day Ethiopian Somali region. From the outset one thing must be clear.  The Ethiopian Somali Government chose to defend itself against a smear campaign cloaked under human rights concern not because it believes that region’s emerging democratic order is perfect. As is well known, democracy is a human product.

Thus the Ethiopian Somali government fully realizes that the democratic order being built in Somali region is not free from mistakes and errors. That is why it adheres to a principle that is based on readiness to rectify shortcomings. Similarly, the government firmly believes that any effort to address shortcomings requires close cooperation and genuine partnership with those with similar concerns. That is also why it has high regard to all evidence-based and valid criticisms and ready to accept them with open arms.

On the other hand, the government recognizes that all human right-promoting campaigns that are grounded in hard evidence help enhance public awareness regarding this fundamental right and also serve to advance the struggle to promote good governance. Hence,  the Ethiopian Somali regional government defends itself against false accusations here not because  it is under any illusion that its endeavors to promote human rights, democracy and good governance has no shortcomings, but to stop the vilification campaign launched against it. 

‘Regarding the individual’s right to get healthcare and tortures against prisoners.

This section of human right watch Report contains allegations, tortures and other human sufferings due to degrading inhuman treatments and punishments committed by liyou police. The section also cites alleged denials of justice and the right. On the basis of the findings obtained from investigations, we will in this response address the most glaring examples of the baseless allegations and inaccuracies, intentional or otherwise, that pervades the entire content of the section under consideration.  

First the central jail of Somali region is a center of rehabilitation and building capacities of prisoners. In line with this, central jail of Somali region is an independent institution run by a special trained police best known in Somali language (ciidanka asluubta) enacted by official proclamation. The central jail has it is own structure- from commissioner up to lowest level. Public body of central jail is appointed by the regional president.  Accusation on liyou police, blaming on committing punishment and torture against prisoners in central jail, is baseless and fabricated false. In short Duties and responsibilities of liyou police are not running or administering jails and prisoners affairs. 

The second allegations are related to the life of prisoners in central jail. to answer we can confirm to everyone, In each of the rooms of the inmates there is a big screen attached to the wall which will allow access for the inmates to be update about what is taking around them and in the rest of the world also rooms is equipped with modern beds and all other basic requirements. Centers intend for training prisons, health facilities, and entertainment areas are available in central jail of Somali region. Indeed prisoners in central jail feel that there is a great improvement in their life. They (prisons) get education, healthcare and all other essential things just like an ordinary person, when it comes to local and international news they are much updates. They don’t really feel bores, sadness and loneliness because they have all necessary needs which a normal ordinary person outside the jail compound has. Ethiopian Somali region allocates millions of birr for preserving the prisoners.  How the government has preserved the lives of the prisons is a commendable effort seen by everyone. Prisoners are busy learning Quran, education, and technical skills. In line with this JIJIGA UNIVERSITY has a functional branch in central jail.  If you visit you could never fail prisoners who are enjoying the entertainment facilities made by the government. Some of the prisoners, who were illiterate or junior student before they come to jail, have gained technical skills, others have graduated first degree. One may not ignore or denied the benevolence of the regional government.  No one, who has completed his/her, allocated time. At the festival days, the government always pardons hundreds of prisoners; mostly 75 percent are members of ONLF.  At this moment prisoners remained in central jail are not more than twenty detainees who have committed rape and murders. In central jail or somewhere else there is no a single ONLF prisoners. All ONLF prisoners were pardoned.