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Jawar Mohammed says he is sick,police warn about illegal protest

As Jawar claims he is sick, his followers toil to organize a protest in Ethiopia. Police warn that illegal protest will not be tolerated

Jawar (left), Bekele Gerba (right). Photo : SM/file

August 17, 2020

Jawar’s court hearing on Monday was adjourned after the he claimed that he is sick. 

According to a report by Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC), Jawar stepped out of the courtroom to get “fresh air” and returned to the courtroom as the prosecutors were getting testimonials from the witnesses.

The activist who used to claim that Ethiopia has two governments (he was implying that he leads the informal government in the country) told the court on Monday that his condition is serious and that he is not comfortable seeing a doctor who works for the government. He said he has a concern to do that and asked the court to be seen by his private doctor.

Also, Mr. Jawar Mohammed asked the court to have a video chat with his wife and his son, who are in the states, and that “he will cover the cost,” as reported by the Ethiopian Reporter.

Eight other suspects appeared in court but six did not show up as they were said to have contracted coronavirus disease.

News of his health was politicized and was intended for mobilizing a protest against the government.

However, relevant government authorities said on Monday that the news about his health is false and that he is in good condition.

A statement issued by the Federal Police on Monday sees the disseminating information about his health as an attempt to impair the trial. “It will not be accepted under any circumstance,” said the Federal police. 

 Oromia region Prosperity Party Public Relations Head, Taye Dendea, remarked on news of Jawar’s ill health. The message he conveyed on social media in Oromigna language is translated by those who speak the language.

“Stop kidding. to be sick and to get well is normal. Someone who is suspected of a crime will not be released because he is sick. To be released, one has to be free from crime.  Don’t forget that it was Hachalu’s blood with which a drama was organized,” he said, insinuating that Jawar will not be released because he said he is sick.

Police warn that 12/12/12 Protest is not allowed

Those who consider themselves as champions of “Oromo cause,” something that has clearly become confusing for many millions including Oromo, are calling on a protest on 12/12/12 ( August 18, 2020, in the Gregorian Calendar).

It is unclear if the day 12/12/12 is deliberately selected to coincide with the birthday of Ethiopia’s revered emperor, Menelik II, which those Ethiopia who consider their cause to be Ethiopia, rather than ethnic nationalism, are celebrating in various social media platforms.

The Federal Police called on the public to not cooperate with what it called illegal mobilizations and attempts to incite protest. Furthermore, it called on the public to support the works of law enforcement bodies, and stand in guard of peace.

Jawar Mohammed’s case 

Jawar Mohammed, who joined the Oromo Federalist Congress in December 2019, is implicated in what many Ethiopians consider to be ethnic cleansing in the Oromo region. At least 240 people were killed, tens of thousands of people displaced and thousands of businesses and residential homes burned.

The attack that was launched in early July with the pretext of the assassination of singer Hachalu Hundessa is believed to be a planned one. Within less than an hour after the news of the singer’s death was confirmed, organized mobs in 40 districts in the region went on a killing rampage targeting non-Oromos and Orthodox Christians. Ethnic Oromos who are the followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church were killed violently.

Bekele Gerba, deputy chairman of Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), is arrested along with Jawar Mohammed. Police said that groups ordered by Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba intercepted the procession of the body of singer Hachalu to his hometown Ambo city. It was arranged with a request from his family and parents. However, the mob mobilized by the Jawar returned the body to Addis Ababa where the singer was killed on the evening of June 29, 2020. Police said that security details of Jawar Mohammed shot dead a member of Oromia special forces and three others were wounded.

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