Oromia Supreme Court set free after days of arbitrary arrest. Ethiopian Human Rights Commission says those behind it need to be investigated
The Oromo region of Ethiopia has been an area with a persistent security challenge that mostly manifests itself in the form of the massacre of innocent civilians from other ethnic groups. Kidnappings have been a problem too. But those challenges are mostly linked to the militant nationalists operating in the region.
However, there have also been rights abuse challenges linked to the regional government. And this week, it was in fact three supreme court judges that were arbitrarily arrested.
Desalgne Lemi, Mohammed Jima and Abdissa Wakjira, all supreme court judges, were taken from the region’s supreme court and arrested in Adama city – about 100 kilometers southeast of the capital Addis Ababa.
They were arrested on Friday.
It was the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission EHRC that brought the matter to the limelight. Apparently, the president of the Federal Court, Meaza Ashenafi, was not even aware of it.
She tweeted: “It’s extremely concerning to read the report by the @EthioHRC on the arrest of three Oromia Supreme Court judges in Adama yesterday.”
Daniel Bekele, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission Commissioner, described that arrest as illegal and an attack on judges. The commission also said that they were arrested while their immunity is not legally taken away.
It was a district court that ordered their arrest – according to an update from the EHRC.
Yesterday, the Commissioner said the judges were released. However, he noted the need to investigate the authorities behind the arrest.
“UPDATE: the Oromia Supreme Court judges are now released from the arbitrary detention but authorities need to undertake proper investigation and ensure accountability,” he tweeted.
It is unclear why they were arrested.
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