The overcrowding hits record level in the different prison centres in Oromia. Since April 2011, Ethiopian TPLF government have sustained a vast number of Oromo students and youth in prison and the whereabouts of many students have been undisclosed. The families of these students have been worried about the health status and the whereabouts of their children.
The intensified national pro-democracy movement by Oromo university students have put the TPLF government in a frightful situation. It was because of this fact the government allegedly accused these students and sustained them in prison. In this month, the government arranged systematic propaganda for the imprisoned students in Maikelawi and Kaliti to apologise on national TV and Radio. The government proposed a statement which states the movement by the students is “anti-democracy and the students should apologise the public for taking part in it.” However, the students refused to inquire pardon.
The Oromo students in Maikelawi and Kaliti insisted that the movement is a pro-democracy national movement, not anti-democracy. They told the government they rather prefer to be tortured in the prison than inquiring pardon. The students believed that even if they released on pardon, the problem of the Oromos will stay unresolved.
The systematic release of prisoners in pardon is not a new fashion; even it has been practiced by Derg regime. In 1980, the Derg government urged Abiyu Galata, Abbaa Biyyaa Abbaa Joobir, Zagaye Asfaw, current OLF Chairman Dawud Ibsa etc to apologise and inquire pardon. However, these pro-democracy nationalists have declined the government’s proposal and insisted on their movement against the tyrant. As the same process, the refusal of TPLF government’s proposal of in inquiring pardon by the Oromo youth has pleased other Oromo students and youths who are advancing the Qeerroo pro-democracy movement.
The struggle shall continue and the oppressor will fall!