Imprisoned Ethiopian Journalist Denied a Medical Treatment

By Betre Yacob.

imagesAn Ethiopian Journalist Woubshet Taye, who is serving his sentence in Kality Prison in Addis Ababa, is being denied a Medical Treatment. He is suffering from severe renal calculus (kidney stone).

Woubshet Taye is among a number of journalists who have been prosecuted under the anti-terrorism law in Ethiopia. He was imprisoned, and convicted for his work as the deputy editor of the now-defunct weekly newspaper, Awramaba Times.

Woubshet told to journalists, who were visiting the prisoners of conscience in Kality a week ago, that although the doctors in the prison’s clinic told him that his case was severe, he has been given no medical treatment yet.

“They told me that my case required urgent treatment in well equipped hospital, but I have not yet been transferred to such a hospital for unknown reason”, he explained. “They told me that there was nothing to do for me. They are even not voluntary to give me anti pain drugs.” he added.

 “I feels sever pain, mostly in the area between my ribs and hip”, Woubshet told to the journalists, adding “It has now begun to prevent me from sleeping.” According to Woubshet, since recent days he has even begun to see blood in his urine.

Sentenced to 14 years imprisonment, Woubshet was transferred to Zeway, a facility far from his family. He first began to feel the symptoms while he was there. He came back to Kality when his health condition got worsened.

Woubshet Taye’s wife, Berhane Tesfaye, fears that Woubshet’s health condition may worsen and cause further deadly complications. “The international community should understand what is going on against him and exert pressure on the government to be responsible and allow him adequate medical treatment” she said.

Woubshet is a father of a son of 3 years old. According to reports, because of his jail, his family is suffering from serious economic problems. Woubshet is the recipient of the “CNN African Journalist of the Year” award.

 “Brutal Bribe Seekers”

last week a letter written by Woubshet Taye was smuggled out of the prison and published on a local news paper, Ethio-Mhidar. In the letter, he reveals the presence of corruption in Kality Prison saying that sick prisoners are often asked bribe by the person’s officials to get permission to receive medical treatment out of the prison.

However, the journalist said nothing in the letter whether he is asked a bribe or not.

According to many, denial of providing necessary medical treatment is what the prison administration uses as retaliation against prisoners of conscience and political prisoners.

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