GONDAR PRISON FIRE UPDATE: TPLF plays down fire incident; it says no significant damage to Bahta maximum-security prison; no mention of prisoners’ deaths

2 Dec

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin – The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

While admitting the fire in Gondar maximum-security prison started at 13 hrs in broadday light, it subverted the truth into stating that the fire was put out by prisoners and the help of local residents.

However, from various sources from Gondar on the social media what we read has put the opposite. In opposing the savagery of the police and prison guards, who were shooting at people trying to escape the fire, Gondar youth and the residents were heard shouting in opposition to TPLF forces’ cruelty. In the video below, sound of automatic weapon is heard.

There were also instances, when local residents attacked the police, throwing rocks.The people were heard demanding removal from power.

In the face of these repeated lawlessness and cruelty, all Ethiopians must unite and now demand that the international community take action against the barbarism and cruelty of the regime in power. The ongoing shooting to kill high school and university students opposing land grab in Oromia that has come on the back of the Addis Abeba Master Plan is a case in point.

On the other hand there is now the cruel and shameful case of the state shooting of prisoners escaping fire in prison that started in the prison’s weaving room and burned alive several prisoners, while it shot several others.

The explanation given in the story by the ruling TPLF news agency Fana is not even alleging that the fire was a deliberate criminal action to set free some political prisoners. That is why it was machine-gunning prisoners escaping fire, when prisoners under state custody are its responsibility. That is why this criminal needs needs high-level inquiry.

In order to block such inquiry, the regime in its usual ways, has now claimed that there was no serious damage to the prison and not anyone has been hurt, without making any reference to the machine gun fires!


Hereunder is the full text of the news story by the TPLF news agency Fana:

    “አዲስ አበባ ፣ ህዳር 22 ፣ 2008 (ኤፍ.ቢ.ሲ) ትናንት በጎንደር ከተማ በሚገኘው የሰሜን ጎንደር ዞን ማረምያ ቤቶች መምርያ ወይም በተለምዶ ባታ ማረምያ ቤት ላይ የእሳት አደጋ ደረሰ።

    አደጋው ትናንት ቀን 7:00 ሰዓት ገደማ የተከሰተ ሲሆን፥ የአከባቢው ህብረተሰብ እና ታራሚዎች ባደረጉት ርብርብ እሳቱ የከፋ ጉዳት ሳያስከትል በቁጥጥር ስር ውሏል።

    የማረምያ ቤቱ ሃላፊው ኮማንደር ሰይድ ሀሰን ለፋና ብሮድካስቲንግ ኮርፖሬት እንደተናገሩት፥ በማረምያ ቤቱ በሚገኝ የእደ ጥበብ ማሰልጠኛ ክፍል ውስጥ በተነሳ ድንገተኛ እሳት ነው አደጋው የተከሰተው።

    አደጋው በንብረት ላይ ያደረሰውን ኪሳራ እና የአደጋው መንስኤ እስከአሁን እየተጣረ እንደሆነም ኮማንደሩ ተናግረዋል።

    የእሳት አደጋው በሰዎች ላይ ጉዳት አለማድረሱንም ኮማንደሩ ገልፀዋል።”


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