EXTERNAL AI Index: AFR 04/02/96
17 September 1996
Further information on UA 211/96 (AFR 04/01/96, 23 August 1996) - Fear for
safety / Refoulement and new concern: "Disappearance"
ETHIOPIA / DJIBOUTIGirmay Moges Newaye-Mariam, aged 38
new names: Muhyadin Muftah
Aydrus Hussein and six others
Girmay Moges Newaye-Mariam, an Ethiopian refugee, is still "disappeared" in
Ethiopia after being sent back against his will from Djibouti.
Eight more Ethiopian government opponents have also been detained in Djibouti
and sent back to Ethiopia, according to Amnesty International's information.
This appears to follow a new security agreement between the two governments.
Muhyadin Muftah, deputy general secretary of the Afar Revolutionary Democratic
Unity Front (ARDUF), an armed opposition group in Ethiopia's Afar region in
the northeast, was arrested in Djibouti on 23 August 1996 and "disappeared"
some days later. According to unofficial sources in Djibouti he was handed
over to the Ethiopian authorities and has since "disappeared" while apparently
in secret detention in Ethiopia.
Aydrus Hussein, a former member of the Somali Regional Assembly in Ethiopia
and a former regional commissioner in Degabur town, was arrested in Djibouti
with six Ethiopian Somali businessmen on 1 September 1996. After about a week
in detention, they were reportedly handed over to the Ethiopian authorities
and have since "disappeared" while in secret detention in Ethiopia. All seven
are said to be supporters of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), which
is fighting the Ethiopian government in the Ogaden area in the southeast. Other
alleged ONLF supporters in Djibouti are said to be at risk of arrest and expulsion
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of all those listed above
after they were handed over to the Ethiopian authorities, and that they were
arbitrarily detained and forcibly returned to Ethiopia by the Djibouti
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in French/English to Djibouti and in English to Ethiopia, or
in your own language:
(A) To the Ethiopian authorities:
- expressing concern for the safety of Girmay Moges Newaye-Mariam, Muhyadin
Muftah, Aydrus Hussein and six other Ethiopian Somalis who are reportedly
detained in Ethiopia after being arrested recently in Djibouti and handed over
to the Ethiopian authorities;
- asking for a public statement of where they are held, and for them to be
treated humanely and given access to their families and legal counsel
(B)To the Djibouti authorities:
- expressing concern that Girmay Moges Newaye-Mariam, Muhyadin Muftah, Aydrus
Hussein and six other Ethiopian Somalis, all opponents of the Ethiopian
government, were detained in Djibouti and handed over to the Ethiopian