(Qeerroo, Adaamaa, 24 August 2012) The Oromia Support Group-OSG has , as of May 2012, reported 4,407 extra-judicial killings and 992 disappearances of civilians suspected of supporting groups opposing the government since 1991.
Most of these have been Oromo people. Scores of thousands of civilians have been imprisoned. Torture and rape of prisoners is commonplace, especially in secret detention centres, whose existence is denied by the government.
The US State Department reports that suspicion of belonging to the OLF is the most common cause for detention in Ethiopia. The report for 2000 states that the Ethiopian government ‘continued to detain persons suspected of sympathizing with or being involved with the OLF’.
Officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross visit 10,000 detainees in Ethiopia, nearly all in official prisons. Clandestine human rights organisations in Ethiopia claim that ten times that number are being held in unofficial detention centres.
Amnesty International report that torture and disappearance are more likely to occur in these centres than in official places of detention.
After he defected, the Minister of Justice in Oromia Region, Yonatan Dhibisa, stated that 30,000 Oromo political prisoners were being held in official detention centres in Oromia Region.