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Ethiopia: Update on the trials of the Mengistu officials since the Amnesty International report of April 1995

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 March 1996
Citation / Document Symbol ETH23458.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ethiopia: Update on the trials of the Mengistu officials since the Amnesty International report of April 1995, 1 March 1996, ETH23458.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6abd90.html [accessed 1 October 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

The trial of 71 officials from the Dergue, Ethiopia's former military government, was to resume on 13 February 1996 but was postponed to 4 April 1996 (Reuters 12 Feb. 1996; DPA 13 Feb. 1996; The Horn of Africa Bulletin Jan.- Feb. 1996, 11; Country Reports 1995 1996). The prosecutor's office asked for more time to clear out a backlog of more than 1,000 cases against other members of the Dergue (ibid.; DPA 13 Feb. 1996). The trial, which started in December 1994, has already been adjourned four times (The Horn of Africa Bulletin Jan.-Feb. 1995, 11; Reuters 12 Feb. 1996; ibid. 11 Oct. 1995; ibid. 10 Oct. 1995; Africa Research Bulletin 1-31 May 1995; AFP 23 May 1995; ibid. 27 Nov. 1995).

Twenty-five of the defendants are being tried in absentia; the remaining 46 have all pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity (DPA 13 Feb.1996; The Horn of Africa Bulletin Jan.- Feb. 1996, 11). If found guilty, all defendants face the death penalty (ibid.; Reuters 12 Feb. 1996).

According to a Xinhua report, on 13 February 1996, Ethiopia established a new organization, the Trial Observation and Information Project (TOIP), to monitor the trial (13 Feb. 1996). The TOIP's mandate, which is to be coordinated by the Ethiopian Human Rights and Peace Center (EHRPC) and the Inter-Africa Group (IAG), includes reporting on the trial's conformity with international and Ethiopian national legal standards (ibid.).

Defense counsels had requested that the defendants be tried by an international tribunal, but on 10 October 1995 the Ethiopian High Court rejected their requests (Reuters 10 Oct. 1995; AFP 27 Nov. 1995).

Additional information on the trial of Mengistu's official is currently unavailable among sources consulted by the DIRB.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

Agence France Presse (AFP). 27 November 1995. "Trial of Mengistu Era Rulers Set to Resume." (NEXIS)

_____. 23 May 1995. "International News: Ethiopia." (NEXIS)

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford]. 1-31 May 1995. Vol. 32. No. 5. "In Brief: Ethiopia."

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 1995. 14 March 1996. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. (Diskette version provided to DIRB by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Resource Information Center.)

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). 13 February 1996. BC Cycle. "Ethiopian Genocide Trial Against Mengistu and Dergue Postponed." (NEXIS)

The Horn of Africa Bulletin [Uppsala, Sweden]. January-February 1996. Vol. 8. No. 1. "Ethiopia: Trial of Former Ethiopian Rulers Adjourned Again."

Reuters. 12 February 1996. BC Cycle. Tsegaye Tadesse. "Horror Testimony Expected at Ethiopia Rulers' Trial." (NEXIS)

_____. 11 October 1995. BC Cycle. Tsegaye Tadesse. "Ethiopia Adjourns Trial of Former Marxist Rulers." (NEXIS)

_____. 10 October 1995. BC Cycle. Tsegaye Tadesse. "Ethiopia Resumes Trial of Former Marxist Rulers." (NEXIS)

Xinhua News Agency. 13 February 1996. "Ethiopia Establishes Project Observing Trial of Former Government Officials." (NEXIS)

Attachments

Agence France Presse (AFP). 27 November 1995. "Trial of Mengistu Era Rulers Set to Resume." (NEXIS)

_____. 23 May 1 SS9 5. "International News: Ethiopia. " (NEXIS)

Africa Research Bulletin: Political Social and Cultural Series [Oxford]. 1-31 May 1995. Vol. 32. No. 5. "In Brief: Ethiopia," p. 11863.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 1995. 14 March 1996. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. (Diskette version provided to DIRB by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Resource Information Center.)

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). 13 February 1996. BC Cycle. "Ethiopian Genocide Trial Against Mengistu and Dergue Postponed." (NEXIS)

The Horn of Africa Bulletin [Uppsala, Sweden]. January-February 1996. Vol. 8. No. 1. "Ethiopia: Trial of Former Ethiopian Rulers Adjourned Again," p. 11.

Reuters. 12 February 1996. BC Cycle. Tsegaye Tadesse. "Horror Testimony Expected at Ethiopia Rulers' Trial." (NEXIS)

_____. 11 October 1995. BC Cycle. Tsegaye Tadesse. "Ethiopia Adjourned Trial of Former Marxist Rulers." (NEXIS)

_____. 10 October 1995. BC Cycle. Tsegaye Tadesse. "Ethiopia Resumes Trial of Former Marxist Rulers." (NEXIS)

Xinhua News Agency. 13 February 1996. "Ethiopia Establishes Project Observing Trial of Former Government Officials." (NEXIS)

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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