Author Topic: Ethiopia's Red Terror takes center stage in Denver immigration trial  (Read 3139 times)

staff3

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COPS AND COURTS
Ethiopia's Red Terror takes center stage in Denver immigration trial
By Tom McGhee
The Denver Post
Posted:   10/08/2013 01:30:48 PM MDT | Updated:   a day ago


Kefelegn Alemu Worku (Provided by federal authorities )

The children of Habteab Berhe Temanu on Tuesday explained in a Denver courtroom the stark choice they faced when they recruited a man to act as their father in order to come to the United States.

If they stayed in Nairobi, Kenya, where they were living illegally after fleeing Ethiopia, they could be deported to Eritrea, their father's original home, and pressed into military service and killed.

They said they didn't know anything about the past of the man they recruited, Kefelgn Alemu Worku, who is now on trial on immigration-fraud charges. He is accused of being a notorious prison guard in Ethiopia who killed and brutalized inmates.
The siblings needed a head of household to emigrate, but their father suffered dementia.
"He kept forgetting our names," said Amanuel Habteab Berhe, 29.

So they found a broker who would enlist another Ethiopian refugee to act as their father. That man, whom they knew as "Tufa," was Alemu Worku.

The government has granted Amanuel and his siblings immunity from prosecution to testify about their part in Alemu Worku's immigration.

Prosecutors say Alemu Worku was a guard at "Higher 15," a prison operated by the Marxist military dictatorship that initiated a bloodbath known as the Red Terror in Ethiopia in the late 1970s.

Another witness, Kiflu Ketema, 58, who spent 18 months at the "Higher 15" prison in Addis Ababa, said Alemu Worku was the most feared man in the prison, where guards routinely tortured and murdered political prisoners. "He was a big fish, he was the most feared person in 'Higher 15,' " he said under questioning by Alemu Worku's lawyer, Matthew Golla.
Through tears, he described watching as prisoners were beaten on the soles of their feet and burned with cigarettes.
"It was horrible," he said.

•   Oct 9:
•   Witnesses identify man in court as one who beat them in Ethiopian jail
•   Oct 7:
•   Trial in Denver will spotlight terror in Ethiopia
•   Jul 26:
•   Denver metro area home to 30,000 Ethiopians, Eritreans
•   Jul 11:
•   Red Terror in Ethiopia killed thousands between 1976 and 1978
•   Ethiopian immigrant's past revealed with 5 words: "I think I know you"
•   Jul 10:
•   Ethiopian immigrant admits being guard accused of killing prisoners
http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_24265791/victim-ethiopias-red-terror-testifies-that-man-tried
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 04:41:59 AM by staff3 »