"Was there a hearing before a judge?"
"Yes.... Well, perhaps not a hearing in the way you mean, with testimony. Our investigator gathered statements. Then the court sat with the investigator and Mamo Wolde and looked at the file and decided there were sufficient signs of his implication. So the court ordered him taken into custody."
"Did Mamo Wolde have access to a lawyer?"
"Not now. Not until he is charged."
"If I was detained for three years without charge, I'd sure have a lawyer."
"Well, in your country every time you shake hands with someone, you need a lawyer. In Ethiopia it is not such a way."
"Can you give me permission to visit Mamo?"
"I'm sorry. I don't have that authority."
He hung up. I must have looked ashen. Kratochvil brought me a glass of water and said prosecutors always put the worst face on things. Then he brightened. "Does Mamo have a wife?" he asked.
Mamo did indeed, and when we called her, she invited us to visit. So, on the last day of August, on a rocky lane not far off a main road, some children directed us to a door in a long, corrugated metal wall. As we pounded on it, the reverberations seemed to carry around the block.