It is unclear if Ethiopia dropped charges against Human Rights Defenders
October 20 ,2018
Days after Amnesty International issued a statement calling Ethiopian authorities to release human rights defenders Henok Aklilu and Michael Melake immediately and unconditionally, authorities seem to have responded positively. They were arrested on Wednesday October 17,2018.
Reports on social media today say that the above-mentioned rights defenders are set free from where they were detained in the capital Addis Ababa.
The sources added that they were charged with organizing Addis Ababa Youth to launch a campaign that Addis Ababa should only be administered by Addis Ababans, not by people from regions. They were also charged, according to social media sources, with “contacting Palestinian embassy in Addis Ababa to take training.”
The rights defenders appeared in court on Thursday and were to appear in court again on October 25. And to is unclear as to how they were released this morning ahead of what would have been their next court appearance.
In a similar development, Ethiopia police said on Thursday that it released over 1200 Youth detained from Addis Ababa following Burayu Massacre in mid September. They were rounded as they took to the streets of Addis Ababa to condemn the attacks on ethnic Gamo in Burayu outside of Addis Ababa where more that 60 people were reported to be dead, hundreds wounded, and thousands displaced from.
They were detained for about a month at Tolay Military Camp, but government says they were taking ” peace training” – what many said is an illegal indoctrination.
Ethiopian activists conducted a three days social media campaign demanding the release of youth from Addis Ababa asserting that their detention violates the constitution of Ethiopia and the international conventions that Ethiopia has signed.
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