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Yonatan Tesfaye released from prison

Yonatan Tesfaye
Yonatan Tesfaye in one of Semayawi party’s rally
Source : Online Ethiopia

March 6, 2018

Yonathan Tesfaye, former public relation head for Semayawi party, an opposition party, is released from prison yesterday.

He was convicted of “encouraging terrorism” under the infamous terrorist legislation for encouraging “terrorism” and has been jailed for nearly three years. It took only his facebook page to incriminate him and was arrested in December 2015. The translation of Yonatan’s facebook remark, as quoted by BBC, reads “I am telling you to destroy [the ruling party’s] oppressive materials… Now is the time to make our killers lame.”

He was sentenced to prison in May 2017. He was initially sentenced to six years in jail which was later reduced to three years in jail.

With 48 days to go to complete his prison term, he was suddenly called and released, he told DW Amharic.

He was serving his sentence in Zeway, about 170 kilometers South of the capital Addis Abeba.

He was released at a time when a three days strike was called in Oromo region of Ethiopia and was somewhat stranded to travel to Addis Ababa where his parents live.

Yonatan was offered to be released upon signing a false confession when the government released political prisoners following ruling coalition meeting in December 2017. But he refused to sign and remaind behind bars until yesterday.

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