over 5,000 detainees linked to June 29 riots, Amnesty says


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                In a statement released on Saturday July 18, Amnesty International called on the Ethiopian authorities to reveal the fate of opposition figures arrested at the same time as demonstrators who took part in the violence that bloodied the country from June 29.

                                    <p>According to Amnesty International, more than 5,000 people are still being held in opaque legal proceedings.  These detentions are linked to the riots whose violence set the country on fire and bloodshed from June 29, killing at least 239 people.  The NGO asks the Ethiopian government to reveal the fate of the opposition figures arrested along with the violent protesters.

« Some are simply unrecognizable, especially the leaders of the Oromo Liberation Front, denounces Fisseha Tekle, researcher on Ethiopia for Amnesty International, at the microphone of Léonard Vincent, from RFI’s Africa service. Their families and lawyers have failed to know where they are being held, whether in Addis Ababa or in the Oromiya region, or in the vicinity of the capital. »

Risk of torture or disappearance

« With regard to detainees arrested outside Addis Ababa, continues Fisseha Tekle, we are particularly concerned that they have never appeared in court, or that they have not been the subject of a formal investigation. We therefore call on the Ethiopian police and the attorney general’s office to say where the leaders of the Oromo Liberation Front are located. If the authorities had them arrested, we should know where they are. And if their place of detention is not disclosed, we request that we be able to see them. Detained incommunicado, they risk being tortured or simply disappearing. It would not be the first time that this kind of thing has happened in Ethiopia. »

Read also: Ethiopia: first audience for Oromo activist Jawar Mohammed


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