Reuters & VOA should retract the bogus report regarding the release of 1,500 Prisoners

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Thousands of people are incarcerated in the Somali Region in a torture camp known us 'Jail Ogaden'. This notorious prison camp and dozen other mini 'Jail Ogadens' are run by the 'butcher of Jigjiga' aka Abdi Iley of the Somali Region of Ethiopia.

In this week, Abdi Iley, already under huge political pressure from political forces within the Region, the Somali diaspora and massive political shifts in Addis Ababa, staged a stunt on both national and international media claiming that he has released 1,500 prisoners from the notorious 'Jail Ogaden'. 

Unfortunately, the Reuters and VOA failed for this prank and run away with the story without following proper editorial protocols such as verifying with the report with diverse, reliable and relevant sources such as the Ethiopian Human Commision, Somali Region Branch, and other entities involved with this process.

They also failed following some standard journalistic procedures such as talking to the victims that are supposedly released and getting any evidential documents that will support the assertion of the 'deranged torturer' in Jigjiga.

The only source they have refrenced in their reporting is the claim that the Somali Regional communication office announced it in social media. Well, the problem is that the Somali Regional government has no verified social media accounts and there are literally dozens of identical pages that purport to speak in the name of the Somali Region Government Communication Office.

In this cruel prank, around 800 prisoners were paraded infront of the TV cameras, and 348 of them actually went back to Jail Ogaden the next morning. The remaining are taking what Abdi Iley called "re-orientation programes' and are expected to join the Liyu Police-like their other former comrades did. As a result of this hoax, only few dozen people are actually freed.

In this inhumane charade, people has been lining-up for days to see whether their loved ones are among the released, but it turned out to be a heartbreaking scene like everything that happens in the Somali Region these days. Iley has been telling the prisoners and their families that they will be released for weeks now. However, when everyone showed up hoping that they will have a festive day with their families and loved ones, it turned into day of mourning pretty quickly. 

So, we are calling for Reuters and VOA to retract this cruel hoax and arrange an immediate correction since letting this story stand as it is now, will only help this blood-sucking tyrant got away with murder. 

 

 



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