This record of the Maay Temenay Prison Complex covers the months before July 15, 2017.
1. The administrative structure of the Prison Complex is categorized into two disjointed hierarchies and line of command:
- There Prison Administrator
- Military Securities Officer with duties for Undercover Operations, Investigation, and Interrogation.
The Prison Administrator (PA) deals with facilitation and support of the Prison Complex. He manages budgets, technical personnel for the upkeep of buildings, supervises technical upkeep, maintenance of structures and grounds. The Warden Administrator deals with the above administrative issues. Prison Supervisor does not have any authority over the Military Securities Officer. He does not have access to prisoners’ records, their crimes, their identity is completely hidden from him. He cannot ask who is who, where, who, and when. His task is technical and bookkeeping upkeep the facility. He and his groundkeepers are prohibited from speaking any utterances about the prison, prisoners, and personnel.
The Military Securities Officer & Warden Supervisor (MSOWS) This official is a ranked officer, often with the rank of Colonel. He is chosen by the Presidential Office, Isaias Afeworki. The MSOWSl is one of the President’s confidants, groomed and conditioned to do what is expected
of him to the fullest extent and to the satisfaction of the President’s office. He is also recognized for his effectiveness on those areas of undercover operations such as kidnapping, extrajudicial killings, torture interrogations and areas where pronounced human rights abuses are perpetrated often surfacing into the international stage. This official is part of the cohort of trusted functionaries on whose effectiveness the President, Isaias Afeworki, relies to inflict massive human rights violations on innocent Eritreans.
As of mid-July 2017, we can categorically state that of those prisoners detained without trial or legally proven cause, 34 of them are women. The circumstances under which women are detained are, in almost all cases, word of mouth accusations, hear-say, or refusal to submit to official orders, such as protesting their children’s detention, expressing anger over government injustices to their families, and fabricated accusations by vindictive informants. Occasionally, women are released without trials after they have spent years behind bars at Maay Temenay Prison Complex. They are given warning not to share any information about why they were detained, and how they were released. They themselves do not know the causes for their detentions and the reasons for their releases.
Inhumane Treatment of Prisoners and the Sever Consequences they Result
The level of official cruelty, the extent of physical injuries, and the psychological damage caused by the MSOWS is beyond the pale. Several of the most sever results of torture and imprisonments are the following:
- Severe Illnesses The physical injuries such as impaired fertility organs, weakened and atrophying muscles, broken bones, permanent hearing and sight damage are common among the prison victims. Many die due to torture, abuses, and lack of medical care, but the numbers deaths are hard to substantiate.
- Sodomy and Sexual Violation and Violence: This Prison Complex is an epitome of cruelty exercised by individuals with sadistic and fiendish behavioral attributes. The interrogators who come in to interrogate and torture the prison victims wear masks and gloves, and voice muffles. They proceed to torture the prisoner in all manners of barbaric cruelty, such as stripping the prisoner naked, beating their buttocks, midsection, legs, and backs. They then continue to tie the prisoner’s arms and legs in an overlapped lock, and suspend the prisoner in what they call the “helicopter position”. The prisoners’ feet and buttocks are fully exposed in pronounced tension. The interrogators then sodomize the prisoner with objects and end the torture them by beating the sole of their feet until their skin is peeling and profusely bleeding.
The victims of the Maay Temenay Prison Complex are a sample of other similar prison “archipelago” dotting the Eritrean landscape. We have worked hard and tirelessly to expose the barbaric acts of the Eritrean regime. We will continue to do so to bring to the attention of conscientious humanitarian agencies at the United Nations and throughout the rest of the world. It is our urgent call for action to rescue the suffering of the Eritrean people.
United Eritrean Democratic Front