OLF’s Lammi Begna, Dawit Abdeta Whereabouts Unknown again; Family Members say they are Kidnapped
Addis Abeba, July 13/2021 – Addis Standard learned through sources that Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) members: Lammi Begna and Dawit Abdeta disappeared during a transport from their last known location, the detention center at Mojo Police Station.
Addis Standard was able to confirm the disappearance of both Lammi Begna and Dawit Abdeta from family members. Dawit’s brother Birhanu Abdeta told Addis Standard via the phone, “Dawit disappeared and to this moment we don’t know his whereabouts,” he added speaking about the response by Oromia Police Commision, “They told us they took Lammi and him to an undisclosed location then they lost them on the way back to Oromia Special Forces who told them they had orders to take them and transfer to an undisclosed location.” Birhanu disclosed to Addis Standard that the disappearance of his brother occurred on Monday, July 12, 2021 as he was following the court procedures and was in contact with his lawyers prior to the incident. He also said that the Oromia Police Commision declined to provide an explanation as to the reasons prisoners were transferred in the first place.
On his part Firaol Begna told Addis Standard, “Since Yesterday we don’t know where my brother is now and one of his colleagues who was detained with him also,” he continued, “When we asked the Police about their whereabouts, they told us that they were transferred and we don’t know where they are being transferred to.” Firaol expressed his frustration with the lack of information by Police in Mojo city in such a serious matter. He also explained that such incidents where prisoners disappear while in police custody can only be considered kidnapping.
It is to be recalled that Lammi Begna and Dawit Abdata were rearrested on March 29. 2021 after the Oromia Supreme Court, dropped all charges against them, ordered their immediate release for the second time. Lammi and Dawit, despite being granted bail early in November 2020 five months after their original arrest in June 2020, have been rearrested upon release twice. The last rearrest came despite the Oromia Supreme Court dropping charges against both individuals.
Addis Standard contacted the commander of Oromia Police Commission, Commander Ararsa Merdasa who declined to provide any information via the phone and asked for physical presence for comments. Addis Standard’s attempts to contact the commander of Oromia’s Special Forces, Commander Dechasa Bitima, were unsuccessful.