Human Right Organisation, Amnesty International has urged Ethiopian government led by Abiy Ahmed to immediately reveal the whereabouts of dozens of politicians and journalists who were arrested alongside other people following widespread protests and violence that followed the killing of Hachalu Hundesa, a popular outspoken Oromo singer on 29 June.
Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa in a statement said families are worried about their loved ones being held in crowded, unsanitary conditions in places of detention amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The police arrested at least 5,000 people, many of whom are in incommunicado detention with their whereabouts unknown. Those arrested include leading opposition politicians like Jawar Mohammed from the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), leaders of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Eskinder Nega of Balderas for True Democracy party, and journalists,”it said.
“The Ethiopian authorities are causing great anguish to the families of those arrested by failing to divulge their whereabouts. They must immediately disclose where each detainee is being held, and either charge them with a recognizable crime or release them immediately.”
It also disclosed that lawyers are unable to establish the whereabouts of key officials of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), (a political party established in 1973 by Oromo people in Ethiopia who believe that the Oromo people constitute a separate nation) including Michael Boran, Shigut Geleta, Lemi Benya, Kenessa Ayana, and Colonel Gemechu Ayana, who were arrested on various dates since Hachalu Hundesa’s death.