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Ethiopian war criminals were able to leave the Italian embassy after nearly 30 years



A diplomatic source with knowledge of the situation said that Berhanu Bayeh and Addis Tedla, two high-ranking officials of the former Menghistu military regime in Ethiopia, were sentenced to death for war crimes, and they were suspended by the Ethiopian Federal Court.
Together with the Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam backed by the former Soviet Union, they died in 2008 in absentia because they participated in the torture and execution of thousands of people, which amounts to genocide.
Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment on December 19. Before the Ethiopian Attorney General Gedion Timothewos asked for leniency, the Federal Court released them on parole at a 2:1
ratio on Christmas Eve. Their old age.

The two men are now waiting for the official verdict from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and then they will leave.

Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Emanuela Claudia Del Re (Emanuela Claudia Del Re) thanked Ethiopia for the suspended sentence.

She said in a tweet on Monday: “The old page of history must have been turned.” “Italy and Ethiopia share a long and prosperous future.”

The chief commissioner of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, Daniel Bekele, said: “Life is a human right, and the decision to give a former government official a suspended sentence is consistent with the obligation and commitment to human rights.” The agency. “It also symbolizes Ethiopia’s commitment to flip through one of the most tragic chapters in its recent history.”

Mengistus is the chairman of Derg, the party that came to power in Ethiopia after the 1974 coup. For a period of time, Bayeh served as Dege’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tedla served as Chief of Defense Staff.

In 1977 and 1978, Dege committed many human rights violations during the so-called “red terror”. According to statistics from Amnesty International, thousands of people (mainly college students, college students and young intellectuals suspected of opposing the Dege) were killed in the streets and prisons of Addis Ababa and other towns in the central part of the country.

During the drought and famine of the 1980s, the same regime was under control, and it is estimated that 800,000 people were killed.

After the fall of the regime in 1991, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front moved into the capital. Bayeh, now in his 70s, and Tedla, in his 80s, went to the Italian embassy in Addis Ababa to seek asylum. Sources told CNN that they have been confined within the compound walls since May 26, 1991.

Their 29 years of diplomatic asylum in diplomacy is considered to be the longest, 22 years longer than Julian Assange, who was widely promoted in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

The Human Rights Commission says at least 600 civilians were killed in the massacre in northern Ethiopia
They never had a lawyer, but they asked to seek asylum in the embassy, ​​but they were never granted. However, the Italian embassy accepted the two men because the country opposed the death penalty.

The diplomatic source said that they spent the days of isolation from the outside world, and they walked on the small ground of the compound to watch TV.

In 1991, two other men, Tesfay Gebre Kidan and Hailu Yimenu, also took refuge in the embassy. A few years later, Yimenu committed suicide and Kidan died in an accident in 2004. The source told CNN that it is impossible to release further details about Kidan’s death to the media, but said it did not involve Bayeh or Tedla.




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