Attorney General of the Federal Government of Ethiopia charged Jawar Mohammed and dozens of others with several counts of criminal offenses
September 20, 2020
The Attorney General of the Federal Government of Ethiopia announced on Saturday that it has charged Jawar Mohammed and twenty-three other individuals of a criminal offense with inciting violence that could lead to civil war.
The statement from the Office of Attorney General said that the defendants article 240 of the 2004 criminal code to instigate ethnic and religious-based violence. Several other criminal codes are cited.
Bekele Gerba, Secretary of Oromo Federalist Congress, is also charged. Some of them are charged in absentia. Dejene Gutema, Birhanemeskel Abebe, and Tsegaye Ararsa are in that group.
Jawar is facing ten counts of charges including fraudulent actions in the telecom sector.
Reports from local media outlets indicated in the past that Jawar allegedly smuggled Satellite receivers, that are not allowed in the country, to record electronic mail communications and phone conversations between politicians and prominent figures.
Furthermore, Jawar, owner of Oromia Media Network and member of Oromo Federalist Congress — a political party which he is allegedly radicalizing, is facing charges of illegal possession of firearms.
Citizen reports on social media claimed that there had been attempts to facilitate a political decision for his release from prison. Attorney General’s action to charge Jawar came days after the news circulated on social media.
He was arrested following the death of singer Hachalu Hundessa and is implicated in the unrest which claimed over 240 lives in the Oromo region of Ethiopia and for the destruction of properties worth billions of birr in several towns in the region.
In October 2019, more than 86 people were killed in the Oromo region of Ethiopia after he wrote a Facebook update saying his life was in danger after the government withdrew security details.
Jawar Mohammed’s supporters had been protesting in the diaspora as they see his arrest as a politically motivated one.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government had been widely criticized for allowing the repeated massacres in the part of Ethiopia where Jawar Mohammed is believed to have a strong influence — Oromia. In what seems to be a knee-jerk reaction, the regional government purged and arrested hundreds of security personnel who were either directly involved in supporting the massacre or who were negligent about disposing of their responsibilities.
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