A Place where Hundreds of Innocent Eritreans are Detainees Languish in Endless Torture and Abuses
One of the Eritrean government’s scores of detention centers is the infamous Mai Temenay detention complex. The structure consisting of horror cells underground dungeons, and specialized torture annexes. It is located inside the city of Asmara, in the division known as Mai Temenay.
The Mai Temenay City Division was built in the 1960s when the Asmara was in a construction boom. Before the arrival of the Peoples Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) the Division was vibrant, healthy, happy and respectable neighborhood symbolizing the true characteristics of Eritrean families. This neighborhood is symbolic in its meaning and purpose. It was built carefully as a family haven to accommodate the raising demand for affordable housing among the rising working class families. It was also built through meticulously designed city planning to add to the admirable grace of Asmara, the capital city. Mai Temenay as a family oriented division within the city of Asmara is complemented the City’s graceful aesthetic features. For the PFDJ to build a prison complex in the symbolically sacred neighborhood is an utter affront to Eritrean families. The children and grandchildren of Mai Temenay, whose children fought for the liberation of Eritrea are now detained in this hellish prison complex to despite, affront, and show contempt and hatred of the Eritrean people.
The Mai Temenay Prison houses hundreds of prisoners due to political case. These prisoners are detained for endless period, some as many as ten years without trials. In PFDJ Eritrea, the rule of law does not exist. People are picked from their homes, churches, mosques, workplace, and from the airport as they plan to travel, or return from trips abroad. This particular prison complex houses three types of prisoners, those who were picked up from inside Eritrea. Some are kidnapped from the Sudan buy the Eritrean security operational squad and whisked to Eritrea. Some come from countries where Eritreans entered seeking refuge and security. A country that cooperates with the PFDJ in surrendering and the Eritreans are systematically deported and handed to the Eritrean authorities buy Egypt.
The United Eritrean Democratic Front UEDF) takes the pains of our people as our ultimate concerns. We publicize the inhumane treatment of innocent Eritreans in order for international human rights organizations in general, and the United Nations in particular, to intervene and take immediate and deliberate measures to stop crimes that are committed daily by the Eritrean Government.
The Mai Temenay Prison complex is out of control from police but administered by the National Security department. Three interrogators are specially trained incognito groups with unlimited power and being unaccountable is selected to deliver the most painful methods of interrogations. They are dreaded for their cruelty and heartless measures. The tortures involve beatings, using objects to insert in the prisoner’s rectus until the bleed and pass out or rendered unconscious. Tortures the wailings, cries of agonies, and painful groans are audible to prisoners and prison staff. We assure and we have the exact figure of detainees in this complex prison. Among them are 34 women who are tortured, sexually molested, and some beaten at their abdomen and breasts, and left in painful agonies.
Colonel Ghaim Tesfamichael is the head of the foreign intelligence and leads the kidnappers the Security Operational Squad. He is the designer, coordinator of kidnapping from the Sudan and the systematic deportation from Egypt. He is responsible both inhumane and illegal actions for being detained in Mai Temenay. He is a person that he takes against suspects, would be suspects, and people framed without ever having provable crimes.
Kidnaps and the Betrayed
There is no safe place for Eritreans targeted by the PFDJ government. Citizens who used to work at the President Isaias’s office, former members of security (spies) members of the PFDJ and members of different ministries who fled the country seeing shelter abroad are hunted, drugged, kidnapped and brought to Mai Temenay Prison Complex. Egypt and Eritrea have reciprocal agreement where Eritrea does not violate Egyptian internal security, and in return, Egypt agrees to surrender Eritrean citizens targeted by the Eritrean Government. Egypt is building military bases in Eritrea. This expansion of Egyptian sphere of influence in the far southeastern expanse of the Red Sea coast is useful to Egyptian strategic goals. Eritrea is rewarded for its cooperation in many economic and political areas. Allowing Eritrean agents in Egypt to apprehend Eritreans is the benefit Eritrea gets for its cooperation with Egypt. The deported prisoners are brought to Mai Temenay Prison Complex to be tortured in the manner described above.
Colonel Ghaim Tesfamichael is the head of the foreign intelligence and leads the kidnappers the Security Operational Squad. He is the designer, coordinator of kidnapping from the Sudan and the systematic deportation from Egypt. He is responsible for both inhumane and illegal actions for being detained in Mai Temenay. He is a person that he takes against suspects, would be suspects, and people framed without ever having provable crimes.
The Eritrean Manner of Apprehension and Detention
There is no rule of law in Eritrea. The PFDJ operates without a constitution. There are no criminal laws that address political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. One young man was detained, because he was accused of writing a graffiti on a side wall containing statements against the government. As a result of his torture, he lost his senses and became mentally impaired. As he was dealing with his anxieties in his prison cell, a Sudanese prisoner who arrived at the Center sodomized him. The young man committed suicide. In addition to this young man, there are at least 7 prisoners who died in this prison Complex due to torture, hunger, and disease.
Once a person is brought to the Maay Temenay Complex, their fate is determined to torture or death without any court hearing, defense by a legal representative, or examination of cases by a legal judicial system. We present one case involving a 47 years father of 3 who was imprisoned for 7 years and died in prison. He was detained because he, in his official capacities uncovered illegal gold prospecting activities that implicated persons relating to Major General Gebrezgiher Andemariam. When he presented the findings to what he thought were proper authorities, no action was taken to stop the crimes. After few months, the Colonel was picked up from his house, detained underground at Maay Temenay Prison Complex for 7 years. He was found dead at the dungeon and his remains sent to his wife and children.
Other prisoners who were kidnapped from Egypt and currently experiencing unimaginable cruelties and tortures are
- Yehdego Tesfamariam a veteran, he was a member of the office of the President.
- Daniel Ghirmai, national service, he was a member of the office of the President.
- Telente Kidane Weldeab, he was a member of security in central zone.
- Mengish Yesahak, he was a member of the National Security.
The United Eritrean Democratic Front – UEDF takes the inhumane treatment of political prisoners, the widespread of human rights abuses that have become common in Eritrea and the destruction of Eritrea very seriously. We call upon concerned International organizations to intervene and put immediate stop to these human rights transgressions.
We assure and will be committed in collaborating with concerned International Institutes.
United Eritrean Democratic Front
ስሙር ዲሞክራሲያዊ ግንባር ኤርትራ