The State Department's 2006 human rights report for Ethiopia cited "numerous credible reports that security officials often beat or mistreated detainees." It included more than 30 pages of detailed accounts of violations, ranging from the beating of teenagers to arbitrary arrests to the banning of theater performances that send the wrong political message.
U.S.-backed Ethiopian troops grabbed headlines this winter, invading Somalia to drive the Islamic Courts Union from power. Less known is the Addis government's massive persecution of its own people.
Zoe Alsop and Nick Wadhams spent a month in Ethiopia interviewing people across some of the country's least-visited regions, capturing the strains of a people under siege -- by their own government.
Their reports will be appearing in U.S. publications over the next few weeks.
Ethiopia has launched a campaign to offset reports that hundreds of al-Qa'eda suspects are being held in appalling prison conditions.
Several suspected terrorists were shown on state television praising their guards on Tuesday evening.
The Ethiopian government had previously confirmed that it had detained 41 terrorism suspects who allegedly fought against Ethiopian troops in Somalia. The government said most of the prisoners had now been released. advertisement