Friday, October 18, 2013

Ethiopia: Political Detainees Tortured
Police Abuse Journalists, Opponents to Extract Confessions
OCTOBER 18, 2013

When we live in a ‘democracy’, we expect certain standards to be upheld; a free and unbiased press, fair representation of the people and political unrestricted speech. The Ethiopian government has violated this basic trust that the citizens place in them.  

The Ethiopian government has been accused of detaining a countless number of opposition politicians, journalists, human rights activists and protesters. They have been imprisoned in inhumane conditions; denied their basic rights, starved and sometimes even tortured. This abuse is being perpetrated in order for the government to coerce confessions and compel confessions from the journalists while they are under duress. This method is being used to suppress the ability of the press to report the truth behind the government as well as eliminating any political opposition to their power.

When the press is inhibited and opposition political parties are suppressed, we as the people are no longer represented by government officials, which can result in serious abuses of power (as seen by the situation in Ethiopia currently). In George Orwell’s fantastic and thought provoking novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, the government uses the press to control the population ensuring complete subjugation and allowing them to commit any crime with impunity which frighteningly reminds me of what is happening in Ethiopia. Sir Francis Bacon once said “knowledge is power”, and when citizens are kept ignorant and in perpetual fear of the government, they are left entirely impotent. What truly strikes me about this outrageous story is that the Ethiopian government is acting with absolute impunity. There appear to be no repercussions for their actions and the torture of what appears to be hundreds of individuals appears to be going on without any end in sight. The world as a whole must stand up and take action immediately lest other tyrannies under the guise of ‘democracies’ perpetuate the same acts of physical violence and psychological intimidation on their own people.

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