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Bekele Gerba, a university Professor & one of the prominent political prisoners is in a critical condition denied of medical care in #Ethiopia. #MedicalCare4BekeleGerba #FreeBekeleGerba #OromoProtests @ScholarsAtRisk February 1, 2018

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Free Bekele Gerba and all political prisonners in Ethiopia


Bekele Gerba, a university Professor & one of the prominent political prisoners is in a critical condition denied of medical care in Ethiopia. #MedicalCare4BekeleGerba #FreeBekeleGerba #OromoProtests @ScholarsAtRisk

NEWS: IMPRISONED OPPOSITION LEADER BEKELE GERBA RISKS LOSING LEFT EYE VISION, HIS DISTRAUGHT DAUGHTER SAYS    

Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa Wal’ansa Fayyaa Dhabuun Nu Gaddisiisa: Maatii, VOA Afaan Oromoo

አቶ በቀለ ገርባ ግራ ዐይናቸው መጎዳቱን ልጃቸው ቦንቱ በቀለ ገለፀች. VOA


#MedicalCare4BekeleGerba: Activists launch online campaign amid jailed leader’s deteriorating health,  OPride 


Ethiopian activists on Thursday launched an online campaign demanding the release of and immediate medical treatment for jailed Oromo opposition leader, Bekele Gerba. The campaign is themed, “Bekele Gerba’s eye is our eye. He won’t lose his sight while we watch idly.”

Bekele, the deputy chairperson of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), is at risk of losing his eyesight due to hypertension and other health issues. The Qilinto prison administration, where he has been held since December 2015 accused, among other things, of inciting the #OromoProtests, have refused to allow Bekele to seek medical treatment at a local private clinic despite a referral from government hospital in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Bekele, a champion of nonviolent movement and who during previous prison term translated Martin Luther King’s speeches to Afaan Oromo, was widely expected to be released as part of government amnesty announced last month. However, so far, authorities have remained tight-lipped about whether his release and the release of other prominent political prisoners is forthcoming. Merera Gudina, the chairperson of OFC, was released 12 days ago.

“The doctors told us Bekele needs specialized doctors to treat his retinal blood vessels which are severely damaged due to a high blood pressure he has been experiencing since his detention, which has not been treated,” his distraught daughter, Bontu, told Addis Standard on Thursday. “We don’t know what is going to happen, my father’s left eye vision is completely blurred and he is in pain.”

At the last check-up, Bekele’s blood pressure reportedly came in at 190/110, which according to Addis Standard, “is considered hypertensive crisis or an emergency.” 

A quick timeline of Bekele’s ordeal:

  • Bekele was detained in December 2015 for allegedly inciting the popular Oromo protests.
  • Bekele was charged in April 2016 along with 21 defendants that included defendants Dejene Fita Geleta, Secretary General of OFC, and Gurmesa Ayano, another senior member, with various articles of the country’s sweeping Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.
  • A federal high court in July acquitted five of the 22 defendants, and reduced the terrorism charge against Bekele to crime charges under article 257/A of the 2004 Criminal Code.
  • In August, a panel of three judges at the Federal High Court denied Bekele’s request for bail.
  • On Oct. 30, 2017, the  Supreme Court overruled the high court decision and granted Bekele bail on appeal.
  • The court ordered Bekele’s release pursuant the posting of bail bond for 30, 000 birr (about $1, 000.)
  • On Oct. 31, the Qilinto prison administration refused to release Bekele claiming that the file number was incorrect.
  • On Nov. 1, the high instance court, also known as cassaction bench, suspended the bail. Bekele was asked to file a response.


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1. OromianEconomist - February 5, 2018

SAR: Scholar-Activist Bekele Gerba Facing Grave Health Risks
February 2, 2018 – Scholars at Risk (SAR) is concerned over the ongoing detention and health of Professor Bekele Gerba, a foreign language professor at Addis Ababa University and the deputy chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC).

Professor Gerba faces charges that apparently stem from his peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and association. Troublingly, a recent report from Professor Gerba’s daughter suggests that he is at immediate risk of losing vision in his left eye due to lack of access to appropriate medical care. This is the latest evidence of the ill-treatment Professor Gerba has faced since his imprisonment more than two years ago.

[Sign Scholars at Risk letter of appeal] http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/50943/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=24222

2. OromianEconomist - February 10, 2018

URGENT ACTION: PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE NEEDS URGENT TREATMENT (ETHIOPIA: UA 27.18)
Ethiopian prisoner of conscience Bekele Gerba has been denied access to specialised medical treatment that he urgently needs. He has high blood pressure which is affecting his sight, leaving his left eye operating at 25% capacity. He was sentenced to a year in prison after being held in contempt of court twice.

https://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent-actions/urgent-action-prisoner-of-conscience-needs-urgent-treatment-ethiopia-ua-27-18/

3. Ethiopia: #OromoProtests: Oromia state rocked by protests. Oromo leader and prisoner of conscience Bekele Gerba freed. | OromianEconomist - February 14, 2018

[…] leader and prisoner of conscience Bekele Gerba […]


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