Former NTV Journalist Yassin Juma Arrested in Ethiopia

By JOHN MBATI on 4 July 2020 

Yassin Juma
File image of independent Kenyan journalist and former NTV reporter Yassin JumaFILE

(The Kenyans) — Former NTV journalist and blogger Yassin Juma was reportedly arrested and detained in Ethiopia by the country’s military on Friday, July 3.

Juma was allegedly arrested while covering massive protests that erupted in Ethiopia’s Oromia Region, following the death of musician Hachalu Hundessa.

Hachalu was an activist for the Oromo ethnic group and the artist was shot dead while driving in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital on Monday, June 29. Over 80 people have been killed in the unrest in Ethiopia.

However, other emerging reports allege that Yassin Juma was arrested out of his friendship with Ethiopian activist Jawar Mohammed.

Yassin Juma
File image of independent Kenyan journalist Yassin Juma (left) with Oromo activist Jawar Mohamed (left)FILE

Jawar, an Oromo, is one of the fiercest critics of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government. Juma was reportedly apprehended at the activist’s home.

Juma is famous for covering the plight of the Oromo Liberation Front, a rebel group that has fought a low-level insurgency in southern Ethiopia for more than 30 years. In 2009, his NTV documentary on the group brought tensions between Ethiopia and Kenya and he was reportedly banned from travelling to Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian government, however, granted him clemency later on and for 10 years he lived and worked in Ethiopia. Activist Jawar Mohamed reportedly gave him an opportunity to propel his media house as an experienced independent journalist in Addis Ababa.

Juma was allegedly using the platform to make a comeback with his features and investigative stories in Ethiopia. Further reports allege that Juma had been integrated into the Oromo lifestyle.

In January 2016, Juma was arrested in Kenya by the Anti Terror Police Unit over recording contentious information regarding the attack on a Kenya Defence Forces camp in El-Adde, Somalia.

According to police, the former Journalist was arrested following his regular updates on Facebook and Twitter about the Al Shabaab attack which left an unknown number of soldiers dead.

“I was from the hospital when I was arrested by eight police officers in two cars…They took me to my house where they conducted a search before they escorted me to the police station,” he told the Daily Nation at the police station.

Yassin has also covered and published details on Al-Shabaab militants, a move that pitted him against the Kenyan government which is fighting against the group.

Hachalu Hundessa
Ethiopians protest the murder of Oromo musician and activist Hachalu Hundessa in Addis Ababa in July 2020FILE

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