Covertly taken photo in a Prison at Fiiq Town in the Ogaden, Sept. 2015

The individuals in the photo above are ordinary civilians whose lives were interrupted, and were unjustly imprisoned by Ethiopian soldiers under the assumption that they are supporters of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF.)


This photois clear evidence as to how the Ethiopian military treats innocent Ogadencivilians in the Fiiq town prison, as well as the Ogaden region in its entirety.In another prison, notoriously known as the “Ogaden Jail”, numerous men and women, as well as children and the elderly, are tortured and killed every day through their inhumane tactics and practices. In addition to the treatment they receive in prisons, the civilians of the Ogaden region face famine and starvation, and struggle to stay alive. Ogaden civilians are treated like slaves in their homeland by the TPLF led regime of Ethiopia, and enchaining and depriving civilians from their basic human rights is cruel and crime against humanity. This barbaric and uncivilized treatment of the innocent Ogaden civilians by the Ethiopian regime is unacceptable, and it is despicable that this crime against humanity is occurring in the 21st century.


In ‘Less than Human’: The Psychology of Cruelty, David Livingstone Smith (co-founder and director of the Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Psychology at the University of New England)states the following: “During the Holocaust, Nazis referred to Jews as rats. Hutus involved in the Rwanda genocide called Tutsis cockroaches. Slave owners throughout history considered slaves subhuman animals. Here, David Livingstone Smith argues that it’s important to define and describe the word dehumanization because it is what ultimately opens the door for the occurrence of cruelty and genocide. Correspondingly, Ethiopian troops in the Ogaden refer to Ogaden civilians as “Shuftas”, which translates to the word“crooks”.


Rather than just killing off entire populations in one locality, the Ethiopian government enforces the execution of torture tactics. Torture can be either physical or psychological, and aims toward the “humiliation or annihilation of the dignity of the person.” Physical torture may include mutilation, beatings, suffocation via the use of water, and electric shocks to the lips, gums, and genitals. Psychologically, the detainees are tortured in the following ways: via the deprivation of food and water for long periods of time,are kept standing upright for hours, humiliated by unclothing them and congregating them into the same room, placed in cells with venomous creatures,and by chaining or shackling them to heavy rocks.

Over the last ten years, few international aid organizations (NGOs) and International human rights organizations havereported about the suffering of the Ogaden civilians to the world. Unfortunately, no one gave heed to their reports, which highlighted thecivilian plightsthat are perpetrated by the Ethiopian militaryin the Ogaden.


The International Tribunal shall have the power to prosecute persons responsible for the following crimes when committed in armed conflict, whether international or internal in character, and are directed against any civilian population:


  1. Extermination
  2. Enslavement
  3. Deportation
  4. False Imprisonment
  5. Torture
  6. Rape
  7. Persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds
  8. Other various inhumane acts

In conclusion, we would like to draw the attention of the international community, and ask for an intervention to relieve the Ogaden civilian population of the brutality that is being inflicted upon them by the Ethiopian regime. It is the responsibility of Western governments, primarily the United States of America and Great Britain, to intervene and denounce this happening because they are political and economic supporters of Addis Ababa regime. It is nosecret that the U.S. and Great Britain support Addis Ababa government, therefore, they should stop the mounting crime in Ogaden perpetrated by the Ethiopian military. It is never too late to speak up, and stop the crime against humanity that is currently occurring in the Ogaden.


M. Noor




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