The Grand Oromia Rally: Historic Event and Happenings
This is a story and ordeal of someone who took part in the Grand rally held in Finfinne.
Day 05/8/2016 Eve: Checking with any networked friends and relatives about the day, checking level of commitment and determination. Found and realized high temper and commitment
@ 1:45-02:40 Jorney to “Meskel Adabay”
@3:00 joining the crowd
Soon after, security force started shooting, beating and dispersing the crowd
The crowed started running and shouting, some were running fast, some were filed on the ground of which they experienced the merciless brutality of the security forces
Some managed to escape, some tried to hide in the nearby compounds, cafes and any shelter they found could hide them from the butcheries
Those who caught immediately were assembled together at the center of “Meskelsquare” battling with injuries and heavy punches
Immediately, those who tried to hide themselves in different compounds like “Medhen East region office” had been collected and beaten. Here indiscriminately people who are employee of the organization were collected together if they have Oromo name (eg a 68 year old driver named Gadis, who is employee of the office along with three of his colleague were caught and bitten. They had nothing to do with the protest, they were suffering because they are Oromo’s)
I and my cousin managed to get out of the crowed and place ourselves in to the nearby Cafe, and automatically ordered coffee to make ourselves more safe and deflect the attention of the Security officers and spy if any
Immediately after 5 minute they came and picked us and started their usual favorite gift which is thrashing, punching, beating and all kind of physical abuse from all side, dehumanizing, shouting, I can say there is no words that equally and clearly explains what had been done by those blood suckers. No one had any option rather than absorbing shocks coming from every side through every means.
Then transported to Kazanchis, ‘Sedestegna’ police station, loaded on pickup,Toyota. Most of detainees were severely injured, bleeding and broken bones. They all were shouting with ear-piercing noisy sound; however the security officers keep beating rather than showing sympathy and facilitating any kind of treatment or first aid kind of things in the nearby health centers or any appropriate places.
Damped in to ‘Sedestega’ police station, when we arrived about 35-40 detainees were there confined in to one room, after few moment all rooms (I guess offices) and the compound were over crowded by the detainees. The tragedy I never forgotten was, there were four detainees who were shouting for support and treatment because of their painful injury and above all bleeding. The response was very frustrating, which remind me the film entitled with “ Ye berehaw Anbessa-in Amaharic” filming Libia freedom fighting lead by Omer Muktar.
After couple of hours, around 9:30 local time, we all transported to somewhere else around stadium which is a compound of sport field. The field was occupied by lined up detainees, it was then that we all imagined how huge the crowed was, from their figure we came to know that the crowed counts about 5000.
Then the regime serving security officers and spys were started identifying and screening who they feel were organizers of the event. Hence collected 37 young comrades from the lined up crowds and labelled and tagged them as ‘Terrorists who holds and propagate terrorists message”
While doing screening process and other unknown things probably facilitating destination places or might be deliberate brutalizing, we were staying there in the rain without any shelter either from rain, wind or cold, at least for about 4 hours- I can say they were torturing us using the opportunity-i.e raining
Then @ the mid-night(5:45) started transporting us to prepared police stations, I and the other detainees who were lined up together which counts about 140(15-female) were stationed at Qera, woreda Amest Police station. The detainees age ranges from 14 years old Amir (who came from East harerge for visit to Addis before three days) to 68 years old Medhen Driver Ato Gaddisa.
@ 6:30 We divided in to four rooms and gave us one bread (120gm) and half litter water. No choice, I feel the torturing continued in sleeping with wet clothes, nothing on the floor at all in the room. Had it been in the normal situation, it could have been not preferred even to sit over that floor.
Second day, 07/08/2016: woke up, all were trying to share the sun shine to get rid of coolness. No water for washing though lately released and people started washing their shirts and whatever closes which were soaked by blood. Then we started asking either to access our family or at least to allow us to get food from elsewhere by our money, as usual they provided us a bread per meal time, no water.
In the afternoon Started taking registration and finger prints, in the meantime the commander whom I believed in charge of our case was asked most detainees why we were there and finally decided to release only 20 (2 female) of us out of the many who actually tried to reason out some possible reasons.
Second day night at 5:00, nearly mid night, other comrades (120- 13 female) were evacuated and transported to Awash Arba which we lately knew, my cousin is also there. There is nothing known about the situation being there, may Allah help them all.
Third day- 08/08/2016: @ 5:30 local time we were told to call up on relatives who would be responsible to bring us to the station at any time we will be wanted i.e on bail.
Finally Personal Trauma:
Because of the heavy punches and beating by security forces on 06/08/2016 @ Meskel squer while dispersing the crowds and caught me to put me in jail, I had visited Korea Hospital for health checkup on 09/08/2016. Then I came to learn that my both ears Membranes were stabbed which reduced and damaged my hearing capacity. The doctor told me that it might need surgery which was very much disappointing to me. However, I tried to rehears and remind what have been done so far on my fellow Oromo brothers and sister, and the level of prices they have been paying with in the last several months, which I believe are invaluable. So I convinced myself and said this is the minimum price I have to pay for the long journey of freedom.
OROMO SHALL BE FREE!!!”