Eskinder Nega, journalist and now prominent opposition, is reportedly in danger in prison in the capital Addis Ababa. He was reportedly relocated to a different cell in prison where his safety and security is believed to be compromised.
Citizen reports on social media say he has confirmed that he is facing a difficult situation after he was transferred to where he is now.
Geletaw Zeleke, head of Balederas office, told Ethio F.M. that Eskinder has told him that he is living every minute with a threat to his safety and security.
A federal high court ruled that Eskinder and the rest of Baledras for True democracy be allowed to run in the election.
Balderas For True Democracy, a party that Eskinder co-founded to stand up for the rights of the residents of Addis Ababa, on Wednesday issued a statement demanding that Eskinder Nega be given proper protection and relocated to a place where his physical and psychological health is not compromised.
The Ethiopian government is requested to observe the right to immunity of the candidates and release them from prison.
Apart from Eskinder, Aster Seoyoum, Sentayehu Checkol and Askale Demile – all of them high level leadership of Balderas for True Democracy Party and are candidates for Addis Ababa in the upcoming Ethiopian election.
As per the Ethiopian law, election candidates could not be thrown into jail unless they are red-handed in a serious criminal offence.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration has been criticized for several economic, political and security issues. The arrest of Eskinder Nega and his colleagues is considered as a case in point that demonstrates Abiy Ahmed’s repression of dissenting voices. More so, it is seen as a strategy to stifle issues about Addis Ababa over which radical ethnic oromo nationalist forces claim ownership rights.