Sunday, November 26

Trial Update: November 20 2006

On Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2006 , Prosecutor Shiemels Kemal called upon 10 witnesses to testify against the defendants on several charges, including 'attempted genocide'. With judges Adil Ahmed, Luel Gebremariam, and Mohammad Abdulsani presiding, the court listened as the witnesses—all local and federal police officers-- described the ‘physical and psychological’ harm they endured while attempting to disperseoters during the demonstrations in both June and November 2005.

Witness Inspector Welatew Demissie, 40 (local police), allegedly received hospital treatment following a head injury resulting from a stone thrown by protestors, and five other officers were reportedly wounded; however, evidence of genocide or even life-threatening injury remained conspicuously absent from all accounts.

Though the prosecution again failed to make any connection between rioters and the defendants(other than reports of youngsters who were "making the victory sign” ), the officers nonetheless told woeful tales of violence so extreme that backup forces were required on every occasion. (For instance, in addition to such hostile hand gestures, the students also allegedly called the policemen names.)

Lasting trauma understandably further resulted from encountering roadblocks constructed by students from “dirt and stones”, in addition to the excruciating pain caused by berberi-filled mattresses set ablaze “to burn our eyes and throats” .

Excessive police force was quite obviously required.

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