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Ethiopian Authorities Admit Secret Detentions

In response to Human Rights Watch’s exposure of the arbitrary detention, deportation, and enforced disappearance of people who fled the recent conflict in Somalia, the Ethiopian government admitted for the first time it had secretly detained dozens of people. On April 9, Ethiopia admitted holding 41 people arrested in Somalia and, to date, has released five of them. Since December 2006, Kenyan security forces arrested at least 150 individuals along the Kenyan-Somali border following the conflict between the Union of Islamic Courts and Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government and Ethiopia. Our research documented how Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia had cooperated in the secret detention program, and exposed how US security agents were routinely interrogating people held incommunicado. Human Rights Watch will continue to press for the release of the rest of the detainees and for an end to the secret rendition and detention program.

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