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UA 111/94 - Djibouti: rape and torture / legal concern: At least 12 girls and women (rape); at least 20 civilians, including Ahmed Meko and Ali Meko (detained and reportedly ill-treated); Hassan Douba Aramis (torture and death in custody)

, Index number: AFR 23/003/1994

There have been further reports of abuses against members of the Afar ethnic group commited by government troops in areas of renewed fighting with the FRUD. At least a dozen girls and women were reportedly raped between 3 and 10 March 1994. On 24 February in Day, Abdallah Ahmed Abdallah was reportedly summarily executed by soldiers after he protested about the rape of his sister-in-law. At least 20 civilians, including Ahmed Meko, the Okal (community leader) for Oueima, and his brother Ali Meko are believed to be held in military barracks near Tadjourah in Mabla region. Several dozen civilians, some wounded, are also believed to be held at a military post at Assageyla, Oueima region. There is concern at reports of ill-treatment. On 26 February Hassan Douba Aramis died in military custody at Soura, near Randa, allegedly as a result of torture.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index:AFR 23/03/94
Distr: UA/SC
UA 111/94 Rape and torture/legal concern
17 March 1994
DJIBOUTI:
Rape: At least 12 girls and women
Detained and reportedly ill-treated: At least 20 civilians, including Ahmed
Meko, "Okal" for Oueima, and his brother, Ali Meko
Torture and death in custody: Hassan Douba Aramis, 55
Amnesty International has received further reports of abuses against members
of the Afar ethnic group committed by government troops in areas of renewed
fighting with the Front pour la restauration de l'unité et de la démocratie
(FRUD, Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy). The FRUD draws its
support mainly from the Afar ethnic group.
At least a dozen girls and women from the Afar ethnic group were reportedly
raped by government soldiers between 3 and 10 March in the regions of Oueima
and Mabla in the north of the country. Names of several of the victims have
been received by Amnesty International but these are not being published for
fear of reprisal. One of the victims was later taken to hospital. Another
victim is said to have been previously raped by government soldiers in January.
In the region of Day on 24 February a civilian, Abdallah Ahmed Abdallah, was
reportedly summarily executed by soldiers when he protested about the rape
of his sister-in-law by soldiers.
Amnesty International is also concerned about reports of the detention and
ill-treatment of civilian members of the Afar ethnic group in the regions of
Oueima and Mabla between 3 and 10 March. At least twenty civilians, including
Ahmed Meko, the "Okal" (community leader) for Oueima, and his brother, Ali
Meko, are currently detained in military barracks 9 kilometres from Tadjourah
in Mabla region. In Oueima region government forces also reportedly arrested
several dozen civilians, including some wounded, most of whom are detained
at a military post at Assageyla.
Amnesty International has previously received reliable reports of widespread
torture of detainees in military and police custody. On 26 February Hassan
Douba Aramis, a 55 year-old civilian arrested earlier, probably for suspected
support of FRUD, died in military detention at Soura, near Randa, allegedly
as a result of torture.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
FRUD has been fighting the government since 1991. Major human rights abuses,
including extrajudicial executions, torture and rape, committed against
civilians from the Afar ethnic group by government forces have been previously
reported, particularly in August and September 1993 and January 1994 (see UA
328/93, 16 September 1993 and UA 06/94, 12 January 1994).
Between 3 and 10 March 1994 the Djibouti government reportedly carried out
a new military offensive against the FRUD in the regions of Mabla and Oueima
in the north of the country. It would seem that these recent abuses, including
extrajudicial executions, have been further reprisal actions against civilians
2
from the Afar community.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in French or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the reports of rape of girls and women and the arbitrary
detentions of civilians in the regions of Oueima and Mabla between 3 and 10
March 1994;
- calling for an urgent independent investigation into the reports of the
rape of girls and women during the course of military action against FRUD and
that urging that any members of the security forces suspected of carrying out
or failing to stop these abuses be brought to justice;
- calling for civilian detainees to be either brought to court without delay
and charged with a recognizable criminal offence, or released;
- seeking assurances that, as a protection against torture or ill-treatment,
detainees are immediately given access to their families, doctors and lawyers;
- calling for a public inquest to be established without delay into the death
in custody of Hassan Douba Aramis.
APPEALS TO:
1) Son Excellence Hassan Gouled Aptidon
Président de la République
La Présidence, BP 6
Djibouti, République de Djibouti
Telegrams: Président Hassan Gouled, Djibouti
Telexes: 5871 DJ
Faxes: + 253 355049 / + 253 350174
Salutation: Monsieur le Président de la République
2) Monsieur Ahmed Boulaleh Barreh
Ministre de la Défense nationale
Ministère de la Défense nationale
BP 1905, Djibouti, République de Djibouti
Telegrams: Ministre de la Défense Barreh, Djibouti Telexes: 5871 DJ
Faxes: + 253 355049 / + 253 350174
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre
3) Monsieur Idriss Harbi Farah
Ministre de l'Intérieure
Ministère de l'Intérieure
BP 2086, Djibouti, République de Djibouti
Telegrams: Ministre de l'Intérieure Farah, Djibouti Telexes: 5871 DJ
Faxes: + 253 355049 / + 253 350174
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre
4) Monsieur Moumin Bahdon Farah
Ministre de la Justice
Ministère de la Justice
BP 12, Djibouti, République de Djibouti
Telegrams: Ministre de la Justice Farah, Djibouti Telexes: 5871 DJ
Faxes: + 253 355049 / + 253 350174
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre
COPIES TO:
Monsieur Mohamed Ali Afkada
Procureur Général
BP 12, Djibouti, République de Djibouti
3
Faxes: + 253 355049 / + 253 350174
Monsieur Badoul Said Ibrahim
Président de l'Assemblée National
BP 138
Djibouti
République de Djibouti
BP 138, Djibouti, République de Djibouti
Association pour la défense des droits de l'homme et des libertés
BP 2410, Djibouti, République de Djibouti
and to diplomatic representatives of Djibouti accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 28 April 1994.

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