(Nairobi, October 19, 2018) – The government of Ethiopia should commit to undertaking criminal investigations and prosecutions following many years of rights abuses in Jail Ogaden, a detention facility in eastern Ethiopia’s Somali region, Human Rights Watch said today. A video [FH1] released today by Human Rights Watch features victims’ accounts, using footage filmed inside the prison in September.
On August 22, 2018, Somali Regional State officials formally closed Jail Ogaden and announced that it will be converted into a museum. On August 27, federal officials arrested the Somali region president, Abdi Mohamoud Omar, for “violations of human rights and inciting ethnic and religious conflict in the Somali region.” He has not yet been charged. However, officials have not taken any known measures to investigate and prosecute senior members of the Liyu Police, a paramilitary regional force, and other Somali region officials who have been implicated in years of abuse in Jail Ogaden and throughout the region.