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ETA/Ethiopia Programme Coordinator Freed

Earlier this year we reported on the detention of three elected officers of the Ethiopian Teachers Association (ETA), including Meqcha Mengistu, a member of the Committee for the implementation of the EFAIDS Programme. The three men were finally released on 22 March after three months of imprisonment and torture and without any charge or any explanation for their arrest. During their detention, they were tortured to try to make them confess that the ETA was supporting a rebel opposition front.

Unfortunately however, living and working conditions have yet to normalise for the teachers. Meqcha Mengistu, chairperson of the ETA's East Gojam Zonal Executive and member of the ETA's EFAIDS Committee, sustained persistent bleeding in one of his ears and now has hearing problems. Aside from this, there have also been professional ramifications. Mr. Mengistu has not been welcomed back to school by his headmaster. He was requested to provide written evidence to justify his absence. However, the Addis Ababa police refused to produce any such certificate. It is therefore still unclear whether he will be reinstated to his teaching duties. EI will continue to monitor the situation together with the ETA, and will try to ensure the full reinstatement of Mr. Mengistu and his colleagues.

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