Education International
Education International

One Ethiopian colleague still detained

published 14 December 2009 updated 14 December 2009

Thanks to the constant pressure of the international community, many of the detained colleagues from the former ETA (now NTA) have been released. Only one, Meqcha Mengistu, is still held captive in Kality prison in Addis Ababa.

Meqcha was chairman of former ETA branch in East Gojam and EFAIDS programme coordinator.

During his first arrest in 2005, he and 67 other colleagues were accused of inciting social unrest following the national election.

While being arrested for the second time in 2006, Meqcha was accused of being involved in an illegal organization. But when convicted in 2009 to serve three years in prison, he was accused of helping a rebel group whose name was not identified. He was mistreated in detention.

Unlike other former ETA colleagues, he was denied the right to be released on bail. Under normal circumstances, a convicted person would be offered a three month pardon for each year of the sentence term; Meqcha, however, has refused sign such a deal, maintaining that he was not involved in an illegal act plotted to overthrow the government.