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Ethiopian Government Shows Detainees on State-Run TV


Ethiopian state television has shown some of the 41 foreign terrorism suspects the government has detained, saying the prisoners are not being mistreated.

The state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) broadcast images of eight suspects late Tuesday, hours after the government first acknowledged it was holding the suspects.

The report quoted prisoners as saying they had been treated well and that the Ethiopians respected human rights.

The Ethiopian foreign ministry released a statement on the terrorism suspects Tuesday, a week after the Associated Press reported Ethiopia was holding them in secret prisons.

The government indicated the detainees were captured in Somalia where Ethiopia has several thousand troops helping the Somali government fight Islamist insurgents.

Human rights groups have called the detentions and transfers a violation of international law.

The Associated Press report said U.S. intelligence officials had interrogated the suspects as part of a hunt for al-Qaida suspects in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia acknowleged giving foreign officials access to the prisoners but said Ethiopian officials were present to prevent any form of torture.

The foreign ministry defended the detentions, saying Ethiopia has the right to protect itself from the danger posed by terrorism.

It said five of the 41 suspects have been released, and that another 29 would be freed soon.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.