OLF Statement on the death of Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda who died in the notorious TPLF/EPRDF prison of Qaallittii yesterday.
Engineer Tesfahun was born in 1976 from his father Mr. Chemeda Gurmessa and his mother Mrs. Giddinesh Benya at Harbu village, Guduru district, eastern Wallaga, western Oromia. He was lucky enough to get the slim chance of going to school for his likes under the occupation. He completed his school starting at Looyaa, then Fincha’aa and at Shambo in 1996. His remarkably high score enabled him to join the university in Finfinne (Addis Abeba) where he graduated with BSc in Civil Engineering in 2001. Subsequently:
1. Sept. 2004–Jan 2005 – he worked as unit manager for the maintenance of Arsi-Bale road project run by Oromia Rural Road Maintenance Authority and Ethio-Italian Company.
2. Worked at Degele-Birbirsa RR50 project in Salle-Nonno District in extreme South-west of Ilu-Abba-Bore Zone
3. Worked on four simultaneous road projects for settlements; Kone-Chawwaqaa, Baddallee-Kolosirri, Gachi-Chate and Yanfa-Ballattii
4. Worked as a project manager for Chawwaqa district head office construction in Ilu-Harari.
5. Oct. 2001–July 2003 site engineer for Siree-Nunu-Arjo Rural Road of Wallaga district.
Because of the policy of persecution and surveillance imposed on him, like any educated and entrepreneurial Oromo class as per TPLF’s standing policy, he decided to flee to Kenya for his safety. He sought protection from the UNHCR office in Nairobi explaining his position, and got accepted and recognized as a refugee. However, for unknown reasons, he and his colleague in skill and refugee life, Mesfin Abebe Abdisa, were arrested and eventually handed over to the Ethiopian authorities by the Kenyan counterpart on April 27, 2007, due to the agreement between the two countries.
Ethiopia, being a member of the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JATT), formed under the auspices U.S. that includes Uganda and Kenya as well, continues to abduct Oromo refugees from the neighbouring countries where they sought UN protection, under the pretext of anti-terrorism. The two innocent victims Tesfahun and Mesfin were handed over to the Ethiopian authorities who took them handcuffed and blindfolded at 2:00AM local time on May 12, 2007, purportedly to have them investigated for terrorism at the JATT Main Investigation Branch in Finfinne (Addis Abeba).
From Apr. 27 to May 12, 2007, before handing them over, they were interrogated at the Kenyan National Bureau of Investigation near Tirm Valley by American agents and Kenyan Anti-Terror Police Unit. The Kenyan officer Mr Francis, who led the investigation, concluded the innocence of these two victims and requested the Kenyan authority to immediately let them free. However, another Kenyan CID agent Ms. Lelian, who is suspected of having close connection with the Ethiopian agents, opposed the decision and facilitated the handing over of these two innocent victims.
Once in the hands of the Ethiopian agents, they were taken to the notorious dark Central Investigation compound, known as Ma’ikelawii, where they were interrogated under severe torture for a year and a quarter.
Engineer Tesfahun was then presented before a court of magistrates of all Tigrian nationals in Jul. 2008, who passed the life sentence on him on March 31, 2010. The two were subsequently moved from the maximum security prison to an unknown destination for the pretext of planning to escape. They were taken for further torture in another underground location by a squad directly commanded by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. It was only since last three months that they were returned to Qallitti main prison. The beating was so severe that the engineer repeatedly requested and needed medical treatment which he was of course denied and eventually succumbed to the torture impact yesterday Aug. 24, 2013. He became the latest victim of the vicious systematic genocide against the Oromo.
Regarding the fate of these two engineers, the OLF strongly believes that the way Kenyan authorities have been handing over innocent Oromo refugees to the anti-Oromo Ethiopian criminal regime is against the relevant international conventions. We strongly request the Kenyan government to desist from this practice of the last 22 years of handing over innocent Oromo victims who seek refuge in their country. The Kenyan government cannot avoid sharing the responsibility of such murders of innocent people who they hand over to the notorious regime that is well known for its anti Oromo campaign.
The OLF extends its heartfelt condolence to the family relatives and friends of Engineer Tefahun and calls on the Oromo people to double the struggle for freedom as the only way to be free of such persecutions.
Victory to the Oromo People!
Oromo Liberation Front
August 25, 2013