Authorities in Ethiopia seem to be turning every single stone so as to return Athlete Feyisa Lilesa to Ethiopia from Brazil, where he is staying after he decided to seek asylum fearing for his safety.
Feyisa Lilesa captured world attention and made headlines in major media out lets after he showed protest sign as he crossed marathon finishing line to claim silver medal.
In an interview with Ethiopians Satelite Television, Feyisa Lelisa expressed that he was really happy with what he did and the he does not care even if he dies. Speaking about his motive of showing the protest sign, Feyisa was bold that he did it to oppose killings of Ethiopians by the regime in power.
Government killed close to 1000 people in just months in an effort to stifle political demands and movement for freedom and justice.
Ethiopian government supporters in social media, and there is a claim by Ethiopians that they are fully funded to mount government propaganda in social media, initiated a conversation remarking that their affiliate government should make grant safety guarantee for Athlete Lilesa Feyisa. Some of them even suggested that regime in power should send ministerial level delegation to Brazil – which caused speculation that TPLF government in Ethiopia might already initiated diplomatic campaign to sabotage Feyisa Lilesa’ asylum process. So far no country came forward to offer asylum while the situation in Ethiopia is clearly threatening because of the regime in power. Many western countries support the regime in power financially in the form of “financial aid to development.”
Today, major European newspapers ( Daily Mail, The telegraph – among others) and some African newspapers published reports that Ethiopian government gave guarantee for the safety of Feyisa Lilesa.
Feyisa Lilesa, a husband with two kids, made it clear during an interview with foreign journalists that he doesn’t intend to go back to Ethiopia as he fears for his life. He even said they might kill him.
Fundraising campaign initiated by Ethiopians of Oromo speaking background raised close to $100,000 in just twenty four hours to help support Lilesa Feyisa as he pursue his asylum process. As things stand now, it seems the case that he is seeking asylum in Brazil. And support is trickling in other forms as well. Washington based barrister offered free service to represent his case by travelling all the way to Brazil.