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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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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

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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Human Rights: Oromia: Dispatches: Ethiopia’s Opposition Leaders on Hunger Strike. #OromoProtests July 29, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooHRW#OromoProtests 27 July 2016, Respond to their demand


Dispatches: Ethiopia’s Opposition Leaders on Hunger Strike

Protesting Against Mistreatment in Prison


Felix Horne
Researcher, Horn of Africa 

(Human Rights Watch) — It has been nine days since prominent Ethiopian opposition leader Bekele Gerba and several other senior members of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) went on a hunger strike to protest their treatment in detention. Bekele, who is the deputy chairman of the OFC, and his colleagues are currently being held in Kilinto prison near Addis Ababa on terrorism charges. Their health has reportedly deteriorated significantly in recent days.

Bekele Gerba p1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bekele and his associates were detained on December 23, 2015 and latercharged under Ethiopia’s terrorism law for allegedly belonging to the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) – a charge that is regularly used to silence ethnic Oromos who are critical of the government. They were first taken to the notorious Maekalawi prison, where torture and other ill-treatment are routine. Since moving to Kilinto, Bekele and his colleagues have repeatedly petitioned the courts to investigate their mistreatment in detention, to allow their families visiting rights, and to provide them with proper medication.

Bekele is a staunch advocate of non-violence and is one of tens of thousands who were detained during the mostly peaceful proteststhat have swept through Oromia since November. Many of those who have since been released reported being tortured in custody.

Since the protests began, the security forces have killed over 400 people, most of them students. Yet, there has been no meaningful investigation into the killings and no effort to hold security forces accountable. Instead, the state-affiliated Human Rights Commission in an oral report to parliament in June concluded that the level of force used by security forces was proportionate to the risk the forces faced, sending an ominous message to Ethiopians that security force members can shoot unarmed protesters with impunity.

As it is clear that the Ethiopian government is either not willing or not able to conduct a credible investigation into the conduct of its security forces, there is increasing need for international involvement in any investigation.

Unfortunately, the authorities’ failure to treat Bekele and his colleagues with the most basic respect for their rights is indicative of a government that shows little willingness to right the wrongs it has committed. Their continued detention sends a message to young Ethiopians that the government equates peaceful protest with terrorism, putting Ethiopia on a dangerous trajectory.


https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/07/28/dispatches-ethiopias-opposition-leaders-hunger-strike

Oromia (#OromoProtests): Bekele Gerba and other Oromo political prisoners on hunger strike in Ma’ekelawi January 26, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

 

Bekele Gerba, Dejene Tafa, Desta Dinka, Addisu Bulala, Oromo political prisoners in hunger strike January 25, 2016

 

 

( Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com): According to media reports, Bekele Gerba, other imprisoned leaders of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), and other Oromo political prisoners are on a hunger strike in Ma’ekelawi, the notorious prison in Addis Ababa. The report said the political prisoners started their strike on Friday, January 22, 2016, and have vowed to continue the strike until their demands are met. Some of their demands, which they have communicated to the prison’s officials, include:

1) access to legal counsels and visitations by family as guaranteed by the Constitution and internationally accepted rights of prisoners;
2) cessation of torture of political prisoners in Ma’ekelawi;
3) access to proper medical care for all political prisoners.

It has not been possible to verify how many political prisoners are taking part in the strike. However, it has been confirmed that the following leaders of OFC are part of it: Bekele Gerba, Dejene Tafa, Desta Dinka, Addisu Bulala and others. Since November 2015, thousands of Oromos have been taken to Ma’ekelawi in connection with the ongoing ‪‎Oromo Protests against the lack of adequate self-rule for Oromia (of which the Master Plan is an example), and the decades-old marginalization of the Oromo people in the political, economic, social, linguistic and cultural spheres in Ethiopia as a whole. In addition to those thousands arrested in prisons and concentration camps across Oromia and Ethiopia, more than 160 Oromo persons were killed, and thousands of Oromo persons have been wounded by the Ethiopian Federal armed forces – including tens of Oromo children.

It is to be remembered that the Ethiopian government brought Bekele Gerba, Dejene Tafa, Addisu Bulala and others to a federal court in central Addis Ababa on January 22, 2016 (listen to the report in Amharic below) – this date is the same date on which the hunger strike reportedly began; many human rights organizations, such as the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, accuse the Ethiopian government of using draconian laws to prosecute peaceful and legitimate political dissidents in biased courts to silence voices critical of the government’s violations of human rights and unjust policies.