PUBLIC AI Index: AFR 25/29/98
2 December 1998
Further information on UA 137/98 (AFR 25/13/98, 30 April 1998) and follow-up
(AFR 25/22/98, 1 July 1998) - Health concern
ETHIOPIADr Asrat Woldeyes
Dr Asrat Woldeyes, 70, a political prisoner since 1994, is seriously ill in
custody in Black Lion Hospital, Addis Ababa, and his life may be at risk,
according to reliable information received by Amnesty International.
Dr Asrat has been in hospital since January 1998. His condition deteriorated
in mid-November, and, as when he fell seriously ill in April, the government
security officers guarding him did not let the doctors conduct tests until
they had received high-level government permission, which took two days. Dr
Asrat was given tests and medication for a heart condition - he had a bypass
operation abroad some years ago. He seemed to recover.
However, on about 28 November his condition deteriorated considerably: he was
unable to eat and was put on an intravenous drip. He is weak and anxious about
his heart condition, and is apparently suffering from moderate heart failure.
The doctors are not allowed to give him or his family details of their diagnosis
or treatment. They have now reportedly advised the government that they do
not have the facilities in Ethiopia to give Dr Asrat the treatment he needs.
Amnesty International fears for Dr Asrat’s safety because of his
life-threatening medical condition and the security service’s constant
oppressive interference with his treatment. Amnesty International is appealing
to the Ethiopian government to allow him to go abroad for urgent specialist
medical treatment not available in Ethiopia.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in English or in your own language:
- expressing fear for the safety of Dr Asrat Woldeyes, who is seriously ill
in custody in hospital with a life-threatening heart complaint;
-expressing concern at the constant interference in his treatment by the
- appealing for Dr Asrat to be allowed to go abroad for the necessary specialist
medical treatment, which is not available in Ethiopia.
APPEALS TO: (Please note: fax tones can be difficult to obtain)
His Excellency Meles Zenawi
Prime Minister, Prime Minister's Office, P O Box 1031, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Telegrams: Prime Minister Meles, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Faxes: + 2511 552030
Salutation: Your Excellency
Mr Kinfe Gebre-Medhin, General Manager, Public Security
Office of the Prime Minister, P O Box 1031, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Telegrams: Security Director Kinfe, Prime Minister’s Office, Addis Ababa,
Faxes: + 2511 552030
Salutation: Dear Sir