September 30, 2008

Appendix A. Letter to the Ethiopian Government, August 21, 2008

August 21, 2008

Hon. Seyoum Mesfin

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Via facsimile

 

Hon. Assefa Kesito Minister of Justice P.O. Box 1370 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Via facsimile

Dear Mr. Mesfin and Mr. Kesito:

We are writing to request information about several individuals who we believe were transferred to Ethiopian custody in early 2007 and whose whereabouts are now unknown.

As you know, at least 85 individuals were deported from Nairobi, Kenya, to either Baidoa or Mogadishu, Somalia, in January and February 2007. We understand that Ethiopian military forces then operating in Mogadishu and Baidoa took custody of all of these men, women, and children, and ultimately transported them to Ethiopia. In April 2007, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged that Ethiopia was holding at least 41 individuals in its custody and we welcome the fact that all the women and children, and a number of men, were released between April and June 2007.

However, many of the individuals rendered from Kenya and Somalia continue to be held in Ethiopian prisons, without access to independent, international monitors, such as delegates from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The whereabouts of many others remain unknown.

We request that you provide information about the following men, who either continue to be held in Ethiopian custody or whose whereabouts are unknown:

  1. Bashir Makhtal – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (Canadian)
  2. Tafara Basisa – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Ethiopian)
  3. Lama Takal – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Ethiopian)
  4. Badada Lami – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Ethiopian)
  5. Tesfale Kidane – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Eritrean)
  6. Osman Mohammad Badran – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Eritrean)
  7. Saleh Idris Salim – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Eritrean)
  8. Saidi Shifa – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Kenyan)
  9. Salama Ngama – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Kenyan)
  10. Hussein Ali Said – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Kenyan)
  11. Tsumu Solomon Adan Ayila – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Kenyan)
  12. Salim Awadh Salim – rendered 1/27/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Kenyan)
  13. Abdulrashid Mohammed – rendered 1/27/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Kenyan)
  14. Swaleh Ali Tunza – rendered 1/27/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Kenyan)
  15. Hassan Shaban Mwazume – rendered 1/27/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Kenyan)
  16. Bashir Hussein Chirag Mohammed Sader – rendered 1/27/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Kenyan)
  17. Said Hamisi Mohammad – rendered 1/27/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Kenyan)
  18. Abdallah Halfan Tondwe – rendered 2/10/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Kenyan)
  19. Kasim Musa Mwarusa – rendered 2/10/07 to Baidoa (reportedly Kenyan)
  20. Ali Musa Mwarusi – rendered 2/10/07 to Baidoa (reportedly Kenyan)
  21. Abdi Kadir Maalin – rendered 1/27/07 to Mogadishu (reportedly Somali)
  22. Mugeta Tasiifa – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (nationality unknown)
  23. Nur Mohammad Zain – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (nationality unknown)
  24. Mohammad Hassan – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (nationality unknown)
  25. Abdullahi Mohammad – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (nationality unknown)
  26. Sakata Sakare – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (nationality unknown)
  27. Shariff Jamal – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (nationality unknown)
  28. Jamal Abdal – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (nationality unknown)
  29. Ahmed Hassan – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (nationality unknown)
  30. Mohammad Abdullah – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (nationality unknown)
  31. Abdijani Ahmed – rendered 1/20/07 to Mogadishu (nationality unknown)
  32. Mohammad Abushir Salim – rendered 1/27/07 to Mogadishu (nationality unknown)
  33. Hassan Shaban – rendered 1/27/07 to Mogadishu (nationality unknown)
  34. Yusuf Ali Haitagi – rendered 1/27/07 to Mogadishu (nationality unknown)

Specifically, we would like the following information about each of the men: (i) is he being detained and, if so, where and on what grounds?; (ii) has he been charged with a crime and, if so, what are the charges, has he had a trial, what was the outcome, and has he had access to a lawyer?; (iii) has he been released and, if so, when, where, and into whose custody?

We plan to issue a short report detailing the results of our investigation into the whereabouts and well-being of these men. We hope to hear back from you by September 30, 2008, so that we can include your perspective in that report.

Finally, we urge you to immediately allow the relevant consular representatives, as well as independent international monitors such as ICRC delegates, to visit all persons held in connection with the conflict in Somalia.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Daskal

Senior Counterterrorism Counsel

Human Rights Watch

cc:       H.E. Samuel Assefa, Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States