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Killing for Pleasure: What the Phone of an Ethiopian Soldier in Tigray Reveals (Warning: Extremely Graphic Images)

Graphic images taken from the phone of an Ethiopian soldier in Tigray reveal ENDF soldiers posing for photo’s with the body of their victim.



These graphic images were surreptitiously taken from the phone of an Ethiopian soldier still serving in Tigray. These are images that he took of atrocities that he took part in. They are trophies. 

We struggled long and hard about the utility of sharing these images with the world. Why are we sharing them? Are they not too graphic for most? They are indeed very graphic. Do we risk over-exposing our audience and desensitizing people? That too is a possibility. What do we owe to the victims and their families? How do we honor and remember them best? These are questions that can have many different answers, none completely satisfying. 

We have decided to share these pictures in full awareness of these questions because there is a story behind them that needs to be told. And this is a story of the impunity that has allowed a soldier not only to take part in these atrocities but to take images, and save them casually on his phone where they could be found. It is this impunity – this certainty that documenting crimes as graphic as these will bring no accountability that these images attest to. We may no longer be surprised by the barbarity, the hate, and the cruelty that drives such actions – after all in a short six months we have cataloged more horrors than we could have conceived off in our worst nightmares. What remains unbelievable is that the impunity has thus far been justified and there is little hope that it will not continue to be justified as the world remains satisfied with recording and expressing concern as crimes against humanity multiply by the day. 

The first set of images here reveal a group of soldiers, in Ethiopian National Defence Force uniforms, posing with a civilian victim shot through the head. We have divided these images into two. The first set in the presentation below reveals the faces of the soldiers and the second set are very graphic close-ups of their victim.

These are close-ups of the victim. The image at the center shows the soldier in the dark blue vest giving the corpse of his victim the middle finger. The third image has words written over it that roughly translated read “a Woyane (Tigrayan) looks good dead” or “a dead Woyane is good to look at.”

Based on similarities with previous images we believe that this next set of photos are from the Debre Abay massacre suggesting that the soldier from whom these images were obtained took part in those killings.

This final set of images we have labelled uncategorized because we cannot determine when or where they were taken.

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  1. M

    May 18, 2021 at 11:41 am

    If you look at old TPLF videos from the 1990s, filled with dancing and music and Fukera, they never showed a wounded or dead TPLF fighter. The Ethiopian army under Mengistu never showed their dead either. War is not like that. War has dead rebels and dead soldiers. Welcome to the age of the intranet, and look at the real face of war. It is filled with dead bodies.

  2. AlulaEngeda

    May 17, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    Tigrayans in the diaspora, we all need to join the fight! If you cant join the fight, try your best to send supplies to TDF. If you can’t send supplies, raise awareness!

    People of the world take action!

    • Senay

      February 19, 2022 at 11:35 pm

      You first, go volunteer invading regions we have no business in, raping their women, massacring their civilians and looting their livelihoods. TDF lost credibility when they went for revenge in their hubris.

  3. Mezgebe

    May 14, 2021 at 2:18 pm


  4. James Paulo

    May 14, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    This is a drama and a campaign made by TPLF.No one should be convinced.TPLF has done so much destruction in Ethiopia.

    Now they are trying to deceive international community by such public campaign using different media outlets and flooding it with a fake comments at bottom.

    Any one who see such pictures and publications should do a fact check before making conclusions.

    • Lemlem Aregawi Tibebu

      May 14, 2021 at 11:44 pm

      Hello James Paulo – we have checked the facts and have arrived at the same conclusion that the majority of people have: these atrocities are purported by Amhara and Eritrean Forces against Tigreans! Your obvious hatred of Tigray blinds your soul and your conscience. That’s your prerogative! The fact remains that these pictures do not lie and these poor horribly murdered people were all unarmed civilians. So that you know, 7 (yes, seven) members of my family ranging from 16 to 52 years of age, all unarmed, all civilians, all peaceful villagers north of Erob were brutally shot for no reason at all and the murderers were soldiers from Eritrea and Ethiopia. These are FACTS! If you just lay your hatred aside for a little while and see things as they really are, you might reach a phase of peace in your life as well as gratitude for 28 years of peace and prosperity thanks to TPLF. GOD help you!

    • Habtom

      May 17, 2021 at 6:41 am

      You are so embracing because you can not deceive us, Eritreans, because we know how evil tour Amhara soldiers are during our independence struggle and now shame on your ally devil Isias and we know hi his soldiers evil are that is why we left them so you are deceiving yourself regardless what to you say about Wayaneee, your Abiy evil army and Isias evil army are much worse than ISIS and tomorrow we the victim peoples of Tigray and Eritrea will live peacefully as the evil masters Abiy and Isias and their slaves in Ethiopia and Eritrea cab not stay around longer so sad I can not believe how devil your soldiers are, how can some one take photos of such barbarism I am speechless so sad sad I can not believe they call themselves humans

  5. asqual Gebreslassie

    May 14, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    very sad!

  6. TT

    May 13, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Being an Orthodox Christian in Ethiopia is indeed unwritten crime! These Christians are getting killed for the very reason of being Orthodox christians. The murder become double when the killers used the victims cross to deceive the world.

    • Babussu

      May 14, 2021 at 11:40 am

      What do you mean ” they killed because they are orthodox Christians “?. Are not most if not all the killers are also orthodox Christians? Please do not mix apple and tomatoes; does not test well.

    • Abebe

      May 14, 2021 at 3:43 pm

      The killers might be followers of the religion you are referring.

  7. Alem

    May 13, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    I extremely hate being Human being after seeing this image😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

  8. ashenafi

    May 13, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    this is a horrible to seee as a human. i think the world must take an action on those responsible for this damn action, specially on the higher officials

  9. አይትስደድዎም(donot free ENDF &EDF)

    May 13, 2021 at 11:53 am

    They should keep on checking phones everywhere from everyone and they will disclose and discover more unimaginable attrocities . Seeing is believing. there are many stories to come . Our mothers and sisters raped and killed and some may be burned alive etc .It is hard to tal about it but simply to inform people who donot know about it !It does traumatize us when we think of checking this web!We never think of doing this horrendous crime even against those people engaged in this crime but they must not be freed! It is total mockery on our people if TDF officials release any soldier !We hated our humanity , being part of this kind of being who commit this kind of unspeakable crime! Do they see themselves as if they offered up a sacrifice and surprisingly we see them wearing small crucifix round their neck!
    ወያኔን መግደል ያጸድቃል ክብሉ ሰሚዕናዮም ኔርና ብግብሪ አርዕዮምና፥
    ከምዚ ዝበሉ ሰባት(ልቡሳነ ሥጋ አራዊት)ተገዲድና ኢሎም ይኾኑ ቅድም ከምዝዝመሰለ ዓይነት ሥዕልታት አብ ሞባይሎም ምርካቦም፥፥ረሽኑ ቅተሉ አይወፃናን አይትስደድዎም(*፯= ቁፅር=ኢንፋይናይትሊ)

  10. Mahibrekidusan is still mocking at nonamharas

    May 13, 2021 at 11:35 am

    We want UN to help end killings of Innocent civilians In Oromia , Tigaray, Amhara kilil and other regions by the Ethipian and Eritrean govt forces.

    The socalled Mabibrekidusan is only concerned about its existence and dominion over the vast area of EOTC. And they do not want to be occupied by other ethnic members . That is why they use other names like “Church is in Exile-ቤተ ክርስቲያን ስደት ላይ ናት!
    We read it together with friends considering each iota and comma , but we cannot find a single sentence describing the attrocities and killings of mothers, kids, Priests, monks etc committed by Eritrean and government forces .
    “አንጻሩ ሌሎች አካላት(i;e Tegaru & Oromos etc ye Addis baba tiyake etc ) በቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱ ይዞታዎች ላይ ያለአግባብ ለሚያነሱት ጥያቄ መልስ ለመስጠት በሚያደርገው ሂደት ረጅም ርቀት በመሄድ ይቅርታ ሲጠይቅ ይታያል፡፡ ይህም በቤተ ክርስቲያን ላይ እየደረሰ ያለው ስደት በመንግሥት የሚፈጸም ጥቃት ተደርጎ እንዲወሰድ አድርጎታል፡ told Mahibre kidusan. It looks here they are accusing the govt of ethiopia. And they requet the ETH Govt to take measure and stop the suffering of Christians”ስለዚህም መንግሥት ቤተ ክርስቲያን ላይ ያለው ስደት እንዲቆም የማድረግ ድርሻውን እንዲወጣ ጥሪ እናስተላልፋለን፡”

    MK warned ETh Govt “እንዲቆም የማድረግ ድርሻውን የማይወጣ ከሆነ ለሚደርሰው ሰላም ማጣትና ችግር ኃላፊነቱን የሚወስድ መሆኑን ማስገንዘብ እንወዳለን፡፡

    Stay tuned’ በመጨረሻም ምእመናንን ከዚህ ጉዳይ ጋር ተያይዞ የሚኖሩ ቀጣይ ሁነቶችን እየተከታተልን የምንገልጽ መሆኑን ተረድተው በንቃት እንዲከታተሉ ማሳሰብ እንወዳለን፡፡ stated MK a radical political organization disguised as religious organization.
    ቅድስት ቤተ ክርስቲያን ከ1950ዎቹ ጀምሮ (1950- TPLF until PP)ሁለንተናዊ የአስተሳሰብ ውጊያ ሲደረግባት ቆይቷል is to include TPLF in their allegation and pretend and hide their hate to Tegaru !

    Let me remind you what Engineer Deacon Abayneh Kasse told at Ethio 360″ Mahibrekiduasn delayed its statement” Because we have so many members whoes political and socio-environmental standing is extermly different with one another that makes it hard to come into consensus(accord).BTW, does a religious organization like mahibrekidusan should raise political views when dealing serious matters like this when Christians are massacred and church is in exile as they put it ? why should they insist on reflecting thier politcal view at the table when it comes to life-threatening situation ? When Abiy and Isays confessed thier warcrime globally Mahibrekidusan donot want to talk about killings of religious members, destruction of churches in specific region ? They are angry at the Eth Govt because most amhara are against the PP now and Amhara are in danger ? They are referring only to amhara church when they claim “Church is in Exile “.

    Habtamu and Ermias described well than Mister Deacon Engineer Abayneh and he was trying to preach while we are suffering . We need a ceonceret answer and action not blah and blmah. I listend to him with respect but his explantion was ridiculous ! endet mahibrekidusan yeteletyaye ye political amelekakte yalechew sebsib new yibalal bezi seaat and christian kesoch eyetaredu yaum yebeteristain mahibre yaum tigraway amhara oromo new eko yemidegifachew yenebere mesthafachewun egnaw gar new yemichetut asmesayoch they just played with words .they sale berbere , chew, shiro and have bigger commercial shops all over the country .

  11. yonas

    May 13, 2021 at 9:29 am

    evils doing this kind of mass killings, ethnic cleansing for many times from ancient time to present.

  12. T.yohannes Berhe

    May 13, 2021 at 8:13 am

    This is an evil act. We can’t tolerate for such criminal act. This is a barbarism.

  13. Aynimishet Adonay

    May 13, 2021 at 8:03 am

    This is the true identities of Ethiopians and Eritreans. Am not willing to follow the so called correctness!!! They are doing their evil acts!!

  14. Goitom Mebrahtu

    May 13, 2021 at 7:57 am

    We should not just watch and sit.
    Let’s take part in the worldwide demonstration on 21/05/21 as a minimum action.

    • Lemlem Aregawi Tibebu

      May 14, 2021 at 11:46 pm

      Hello Goitom – where is this worldwide demonstration of May 21st, 2021taking place? My family and I would like to join. Thank you and GOD bless you

  15. yonas

    May 13, 2021 at 7:23 am

    የመጨረሻ ጨካኞች ፍጥረት አረመኔዎች

    • Lemlem Aregawi Tibebu

      May 14, 2021 at 11:47 pm


  16. Teklit Gebreslasie

    May 13, 2021 at 7:20 am

    It’s heart breaking

    • Haftom Gebremedhn

      May 31, 2021 at 11:35 am

      እዚ ኩሉ ኣብልዕሊ ተጋሩ ዝተፈፀመን ዝፍፀም ዘሎን ኣረሜናዊ ተግባርተጋሩ ብሙኻንና ጥራሕ ሞት ተኣዊጁልና፣ካብምድሪ ክሓኩና ወሲኖም፣ግዜ፣ፈጣሪ፣ዓለም ምስወረርትን ጨፍጨፍትን ወጊናኖም፣፣ዝስዋእተሰዊኡ ዝቆሰለቁሲሉ ኣሎ ዝተረፍናድማ ገና ኣሰር ኣያታትናተኸቲልና እስካብ ህላወና ነውሕስ ክንዋገኦም ኢና

  17. Habtom

    May 13, 2021 at 6:16 am


  18. Amt

    May 13, 2021 at 4:50 am

    Cruelty at its best!!!
    Ethiopians & Eritreans will for ever be remembered how barbarians they really are.

    • Lemlem Aregawi Tibebu

      May 14, 2021 at 11:52 pm

      Oh yes! They will be remembered thanks to the photos they themselves chose to take of their sickening actions of horror!! And to go as far as taking photos of themselves with their victims?!?!?!? Oh my GOD how pathetically callous and evil!!! And then to give the finger to a poor dead man…how sickening and soul-less one must be to go that low! Yet, while the poor victims are surely in the hands of GOD, their assassins will have to bare the flames of hell for eternity. Yaret!..Yighberellom! Iziom insissatat iyom imber seb aykonun!

  19. Dawit

    May 13, 2021 at 4:03 am

    This is so wild and brutal . Devilish!

  20. Helfti Yrga

    May 13, 2021 at 1:07 am

    Tigray genocide

    • TT

      May 13, 2021 at 7:04 pm

      You can see who they are from the flag around their neck. They are not Christians. Those are Islamic extremists soldiers /speciaal Jihadist forces of the government. They wore crosses around their neck to give the wrong image to the world. Abiy Ahmed do not want the World to know that his government is a terrorist group.

    • MO

      June 26, 2021 at 5:49 am

      I don’t know why they are taking these pictures and sharing them on social media.. However, there’s nothing to show those killed were not TPLF fights. TPLF fights go to battle with civilian clothing. We know that for a fact.

      • Genet

        March 15, 2022 at 12:24 pm

        Amhara is living in denial all their lives, get a life people

  21. Yonas B. Meshesha

    May 13, 2021 at 12:59 am

    21st century barbarians
    Act on our people.
    Please stop killing civilians.

  22. Mebrahtom berhe reta

    May 13, 2021 at 12:33 am


  23. Tadesse Tsehai

    May 12, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    This is horrible to see humans can do to human this kind killing.

  24. Mikias

    May 12, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    No words for this. How come we lived with this subhumans this long?

  25. Mebre

    May 12, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    This is evidece of the extreme capabilities of human beings to do evil. This shows the true identity of the Ethiopian and Eritrean people; ignorant, hateful, and evil … beyond evil.

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