By | October 2, 2019


Re: The Ethiopian Federal High Court Blocks Release of Sidama civilians in jail for 3 months without charge

The Ethiopian Federal High Court Blocks the Release of Sidama Influential Activists

By The Sidama Observer, October 2, 2019

Sidama ReferendumYesterday 1 October 2019, the Ethiopian Federal High Court illegally intervened in the ongoing court cases of the influential Sidama civilian activists who campaigned for the realization of the Sidama Regional State. It is to be recalled that the government accepted the demand by the Sidama nation to establish its own Regional State within Ethiopia and set the date for the referendum to be on 13 November 2019.

The prisoners were going to appear in court today 2 October 2019 for the 9th time. The Hawassa High Court in Sidama warned the prosecutors two weeks ago that it would release the prisoners today 2 October 2019, if the prosecutors would not provide any proof of wrong doing which they failed to do so in the past two and a half months.

Because the politically motivated prosecutors failed to provide any evidence of wrong doing by these civilian activists, who only conducted peaceful campaign for the establishment of the Sidama Regional State,  the Ethiopian Federal High Court intervened illegally and ordered the prisoners to be transferred to Halaba Qulito prison in Halaba Zone outside of Sidama. The Ethiopian Federal High Court also ordered that these civilians will appear on the 13th Mobile Federal High Court bench on November 14, 2019, one and a half months from today. This is totally illegal and proves what we have been saying all along that there is no rule of law in Ethiopia. The country is not reforming. It is deforming!! The much praised regime turned out to be one of the most repressive dictatorships we had witnessed too often in Ethiopia. This regime is  as good as its predecessors which were removed through revolutions.

Forty three (43) influential Sidama activists were denied their basic freedom today 2 October 2019 and were ordered to be transferred to Halaba Qulitto Prison in Halaba Zone and ordered to appear in court on 14 November 2019. These are:

  1. Dr. Mathe Mengesha Yote
  2. Mr. Tariku Lema Wakayo
  3. Mr. Getahun Dagoye Darimo
  4. Mr. Belay Balguda Naro
  5. Ass. Prof. Alemu Tamisso Debisso
  6. Ass. Prof. Tessema Elias Shole
  7. Mr. Tefera Kenfato Keta
  8. Mr. Samuel Belayneh Kame
  9. Mr. Addisu Kamisso
  10. Mr. Temesgen Tesfaye
  11. Mr. Dafursa Shunta
  12. Mr. Abebe Argisso Adela
  13. Mr. Assefa Abreham Horato
  14. Mr. Bezabh Barassa Yu’ura
  15. Mr. Endashaw Kebede Dhaaba
  16. Mr. Amare Legamo Ganale
  17. Mr. Milkias Samuel
  18. Mr. Zenebe Shala Shabe
  19. Mr. Tekalign Solomon
  20.  Mr. Adane Petros
  21. Mr. Sisay Tamene Gijamo
  22. Mr. Adane Alaka Tabota
  23. Mr. Fikiru Legamo
  24. Mr. Markos Godana Gobaro
  25. Mr. Markos Assefa
  26. Mr. Mindaye/Tewdros/ Tesfaye Ribisso
  27. Mr. Tofiki Ali Kedir
  28. Mr. Abreham Adem
  29. Mr. Efrem Geremew Gashuma
  30. Mr. Solomon Sodo Gujo
  31. Mr. Amdeberhan Adem Gebre
  32. Mr. Yoseph Berhanu Dawako
  33. Mr. Zerihun Danole Balango
  34. Mr. Melkamu Yoma Riqe
  35. Mr. Yidres Yetera Hashasha
  36. Mr. Batisso Babisso Bankurso
  37. Mr. Binyam Aklilu
  38. Mr. Teshale Fendega Garo
  39. Mr. Barnabas Roma Gosomma
  40. Mr. Bereket Befekadu Adela
  41. Mr. Alemu Gabisso Galana
  42. Mr. Habte Dawit Kesha
  43. Mr. Negash Gezahegn Ugamo

The basic rights of these prisoners are violated on two levels:

First, they did not appear in court as scheduled today 2 October 2019. The Hawassa High Court was blocked from reviewing  their case and releasing them today as promised although there is no evidence todate  that they committed any crime.  These people are prisoners of conscience. They must be released immediately.

Secondly, they are illegally transferred to a prison outside of Sidama. Their basic rights of fair treatment in detention is violated. It is none of the business of the Ethiopian Federal High Court to interfere in the Sidama civil cases.

Reliable sources indicated that the Federal High Court interfered at the request of Mufriat Kamil and her  Sidama SEPDM puppets. These same SEPDM cadres requested the declaration of the state of emergency and a heavy handed crack down on Sidama civilians in which over 100 civilians were killed,  hundreds wounded and 2500 civilians are imprisoned for the past three months without any charge.

That is why we say Ethiopia is not reforming. Not at all. It is deforming!! Civilians languish in prisons for their political opinions two years into these deforms.

We appeal to the international community to intervene and help release the innocent Sidama civilian prisoners of conscience!!

Stop genocide against the Sidama people!!

Stop Genocide against the Qimant People!!

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