Farmer and owner of a shop and restaurant, a known elder
serving the community in his area.
Hassen was first detained in late 1992, six months after the
OLF were forced out of the transitional government. He was
held and tortured for four months in Negele military
In 1993, eight months after his release, he was detained
again in the same place and tortured for five months.
His torture consisted of immersion of his head in water and
having a one litre bottle of water suspended from his
testicles, in addition to being beaten with wooden staves.
His mouth was gagged with cloth, tied in place with electric cable, and he was questioned and
immersed every few minutes until he fainted. As soon as he regained consciousness, his head was
forced under the water again.
This was carried out twice each week throughout both episodes of detention and each session
continued for two hours. During each two hour session, the bottle of water was hung from his
genitalia until he was returned to his cell. He was forced to stand and sit repeatedly to feel the
Elders came to the camp and promised government officials that Hassen would have nothing to do
with the OLF. On his release, he signed an agreement that he would forfeit his life if he was found
to be involved with the OLF or if there was any OLF activity in the area. He signed that he would
be restricted to his immediate surroundings, would report and sign on every month and would
inform and get permission from the authorities to attend weddings and funerals up to 25 km away,
but no further. He was forbidden to attend meetings. If he attended weddings, someone was sent
to listen to what he said and report on who he spoke to.