OLLAA has received a credible report from a relative regarding the death of Mama Kadiro, a 40 year old farmer and father of three, who died on March 24, 2022 after he was tortured by members of the Oromia special police force.
Mr. Kadiro lived in Abada, West Arsi zone, which, like many parts of Oromia, has a curfew in place that bars citizens from being outside after 8:00 pm. According to our source, at around 8:45 pm on the evening of March 23, 2022, Mr. Kadiro was walking home from work when he was stopped and arrested by members of the Oromo special police for being out past curfew. They also claimed he was “Shane” (a term often used by the Ethiopian government to refer to members of the OLA). The Oromia special police commander then ordered his security officials to take Mr. Kadiro to a police camp where he was tortured all night long while facing harsh interrogation. A witness reported to OLLAA that they could hear Mama Kadiro screaming and crying out, “Don’t kill me please!”, “I am going to my home”, “I don’t have any link with Shane”, and “I am not Shane.” It was reported that he was then transferred to Adaba Woreda Police station where he faced additional torture at the hands of the police.
On the morning of March 24th, Mr. Kadiro was brought to the Adaba health station by the police. Unfortunately, he died later that day as a result of the severe beatings and torture he experienced while detained.
According to our source, Mr. Kadiro was widely respected by his community. He had no prior history of arrests, and was considered a peaceful man.
Mr. Kadiro’s relative reports that, since his death, police have been intimidating his family in order to ensure they do not speak out about the incident, and, as such, there have been no media reports about his death or the torture he suffered at the hands of the Oromia special police. Nevertheless, his family still hopes that they can obtain justice for his death. Residents of Abada seem to feel similarly, and many have expressed their condolences to the family and their grief over his untimely demise over social media.
Under international law, States are obligated to ensure that the State, or its agents, like police officers, do not violate the rights of its citizens. Multiple human rights treaties that Ethiopia is a party to uphold the right to life as a fundamental right, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Torture has been defined under the Convention Against Torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.” Furthermore, the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials explicitly lays out that law enforcement officials may not inflict any act of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment on individuals.
It should also be noted that the right to freedom of movement generally grants individuals the right to move freely within a country, and that measures such as curfews inherently restrict this right. However, under international law, countries may restrict the right to freedom of movement if it is in the interest of protecting national security, public order, public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others. States may also derogate from the obligation to protect this right during states of emergencies, as long as they comply with the principle of strict proportionality.