Ethiopian government closed down Maekelawi, notorious chamber in the capital Addis Ababa,today. Located near the city center, the facility was used by colonel Mengistu Hailemariam’s as a headquarter for “police investigation” for seventeen years. The government in power used it for same purpose for over 27 years.
Prisoners detained in the facility for “investigation” are reportedly transferred to other prison facilities under Addis Ababa Police commission, according to a report by The Ethiopian Reporter. Taye Dendea, Oromo regional state justice department spokes person, and Seyoum Teshome, a lecturer at Ambo University and blogger, were among the prisoners transferred from Maekelawi torture chamber.
The thirty six member Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front executive committee decided to close down the torture chamber back in December 2017 in what political pundits say is an effort to paint itself as a party committed to reform as the demand for an end to TPLF government was mounting.
Former prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced in December 2017 that the next fate of Maekelawi is transformation to “a state of the art museum”
Prisoners who were sent to the torture chamber,mostly political prisoners from different parts of Ethiopia, recount horrifying stories of torture. There were even reports in the Ethiopian media including Ethiopian Satellite Television that some were even mutilated in the process of torture so much so that they could not even have a child.