When he asked for permission to buy insulin from a local pharmacy, his captors said, "We are not here to treat you; we are here to kill you. We are gathering the Tigrayan refugees here to kill them."
The dividing line between a normal jail, prison or detention center and a concentration camp is clear enough:
The latter is defined by arbitrary arrest and detention in harsh conditions based on ethnicity, during a conflict and without judicial process, especially where people are locked up indefinitely for no valid legal purpose (such as a quarantine or relocation on humanitarian grounds for the purpose of saving lives).
The Abbadi warehouse compound in Mai Kadra appears to qualify as a concentration camp under those standards.
I saw the police beat some children with sticks, too. When they beat the boys, they would say, "You are the son of the junta [a reference to the Tigration People's Liberation Front, or TPLF].
" When they beat the girls, they said, "Daughters of junta."
If they found children without their father, they would assume that the father must have left to fight for the TDF [Tigrayan Defense Forces]. The beaten children said nothing. But tears slid down their faces.
This reporter plans to go into Tigray to walk the sites of the concentration camps and interview former prisoners and their captors.
And to find the three-year-old boy and his mother, two former prisoners whose faces stare from the video footage that Solomon smuggled out of Mai Kadra when he escaped.
This is the first visual evidence corroborating eyewitness reports that the Ethiopian government has locked up children of all ages in concentration camps, starved them, beat them and told them they would die, in hopes that the world would turn a blind eye.