Statement on the Burning Down of the Regime’s Notorious Prison at Qilinto

One of the large notorious prisons where the Ethiopian regime detains thousands of Oromos
and members of other nationalities accused of participating in peaceful demonstrations is
located just outside Addis Ababa/Finfinne at a locality called Qilinto was burned down on
September 3, 2016. A number of prisoners were burned alive while others were shot and killed
by security forces while trying to escape the raging fire. There were many injuries.
According to information we received up to now, seven individuals were known to have been
burned alive and ten were shot and killed by security forces while trying to escape the fire. We
suspect that there are many more causalities. Many prisoners who have suffered from severe
burns and were taken to nearby hospitals. The cause of the fire is not yet determined but many
suspect the regime.
Those prisoners who escaped unharmed or with minor injuries were transported to prisons
located outside the capital at Zuway and AwashArba.
The OLF received the news of the burning of the high security prison housing thousands of
prisoners with shock. We express our deepest sympathy to the families who lost their loved
ones. The regime must be held responsible for the lives lost and injures sustained. It is known
that in recent times the regime is in desperate situation from the intensified peaceful struggle for
liberty and justice by peoples all over the country, particularly in Oromia and Amhara, Ogaden,
Sidama, etc. regions trying to regain their lost rights and dignity.
The OLF condemns the savage and inhuman acts of the Ethiopian dictatorial regime
particularly for shooting and killing prisoners trying to escape the raging fire from the burning
prison building. We call upon human rights organizations and others in the international
community to help determine the cause of this deadly fire that has affected the lives of
thousands and condemn the callous act of the regime’s securityforces for killing the prisoners
trying to escape from harm.
We call upon our people and others in the empire to intensify their struggle for liberation and
freedom and to get rid of the cruel and dictatorial Tigrean regime.
Victory to the Oromo People!
Oromo Liberation Front
September 4, 2016

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