When Professor Merera Gudina was arrested on November 30,2016 up on his return from European Parliament hearing, Ethiopian government explained the arrest in terms of infringement on Sate of Emergency legislation introduced in the country since October this year.
A report -came out today -by prominent Ethiopia based publisher,Addis Standard, indicates that police, in what seem to be justification for requesting more time, told high court in the capital Addis Ababa that it is investigating Merera Gudina for “potential offenses related to terrorism,” which hints high likelihood that Merera Gudina could be facing terrorist charges.
The Federal High Court already provided the police with twenty eight more days to carry out its investigation of Merera Gudia, revered opposition leader in Ethiopia with a very strong conviction for non-violence in the struggle to democratize Ethiopia while fighting widespread gruesome rights violations. The vilified “anti-terrorist legislation” grants police rights to remand and request additional days for purposes of “investigation.” It is widely criticized for being an overt political tool to repress dissenting voices.
Professor Merera has been living in Addis Ababa and there was no terrorist charges,what so ever, until he left for Europe for European parliament hearing in the month of November.he stayed in Europe for about three weeks and met with Ethiopians in different parts of Europe.
In the court, according to Addis Standard report, Merera Gudina denied terrorist allegations. His lawyer is cited on Merera’s response to the allegation. ” I spent my life teaching against the ideals of violence and terrorism.” No families, colleagues in the opposition party he leads (Oromo Federalist Congress), friends and diplomats were allowed to the court room as the hearing was in closed court. Legal system and the courts are criticized as tools of the regime in power with no semblance of independence.
Dr. Merera has been in jail for nearly a month now. Police asked the court for additional twenty eight days for purposes of “translating e-mails, electronic files, other documents and banking details related to Dr. Merera”, wrote Addis Standard.
The European Parliament was outraged by the arrest of Professor Merera Gudina and requested for clarification why he was arrested. His arrest has also outraged human rights defenders and politicians in the United States, and State Department has called for his release.
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