March 28, 2013 (Borkena) Ethiopian Reporter, local newspaper in the capital Addis Ababa, reported on March 27,2013 that four medical doctors at Nekemete, capital of Wollega zone in Western Ethiopia, are arrested on alleged “suspicion of murder.” These doctors had been working at Nekemete referral hospital for more than ten years.
Dr. Adam Lemma Kibret (surgeon), Dr. Belay Bete Mariam Esete (gynecologist), Dr. Isayas Birhanu (gynecologist) and Dr. Tamene Abera (surgeon) are arrested for alleged negligent homicide. The doctors were suspended from practicing for about twenty days before they were finally arrested, according to Ethiopian Reporter.The report also indicated that Dr Rim Hongho, an orthopedic doctor of Korean origin who practiced at the hospital for more than a year, is fired.
The ‘suspects’ are said to have appealed to Ministry of Health that should the allegation be serious, the case has to be treated as a medical lawsuit case in a medical court, which does not exist in the country, apparently.
Ethiopian reporter claimed to have phoned Dr. Chala Olana, medical director of the hospital, and got confirmation regarding the arrest. However, Dr. Chala apparently declined from commenting as to why the medical doctors are arrested.
Given the recent history of allegation against high profile professional in Ethiopia and given the history of TPLF/EPRDF repressive political machine disguised in the legal system as evident in the cases of free press journalists and opposition party members, borkena believes that the “murder suspicion” and the consequent arrest itself suspicious.