Testimony: The Execution of Mogos Gebreselase
By Anon (submitted by Elsa Chyrum) - Feb 24, 2006
The history of
The story of Mogos Gebreselase is part and parcel of this history. I met Mogos in
October 1998 in the hamlet of Elala, around Shambeko. While
serving the nation in our units, I came to learn that he was born and raised in
Mogos Gebreselase was a tireless and principled person who respected military rules and discipline. But because he was an ethical person, he could not get along with his superiors. This is not surprising: a sharp and astute person like him could not tolerate the debauchery of those in charge. In 2001, anonymous members of the army sent a letter that exposed the corruption of those in charge to the Defense Ministry ([known as] Beleza.) Instead of trying to investigate the veracity of the claims against the accused, Major Afwerki Habtegiorgis (?Ababu?), the major?s friends within the Defense Minstry sent back the letter to the major advising him to take caution. And the major initiated the process of sharpening his knife to slay his enemies.
In an effort to save himself, a panicked Major Afwerki began the process of identifying those he considered his enemies. He called on all the soldiers in his charge to submit to handwriting investigation. In the end, Mogos Gebreselase and seven other members of our division were detained. No one in the rank and file knew about this, but Mogos and the others were sent to detention.
Mogos and the other seven individuals were sent for so-called rehabilitation to Adi Gawel. All in the army knew that Mogos?s fate could not be good. This is because his superiors always looked at him with contempt. Certainly, those of you reading this will be saddened by the arrest of Mogos and the other seven individuals. But that?s not all. What is truly saddening is that Mogos Gebreselasee, the innocent youth, was trapped by Major Afwerki and was killed by an execution squad. Just like that: those in charge are warlords, killing and sparing people at a whim.
Elsa Chyrum is an Eritrean human rights activist. The original article was written in Tigrigna and is published by Awate. Translated to English by Awate staff