Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers who were arrested in Addis Ababa and the Oromia region in connection with the resistance to government interference in the affairs of the church and support to the group that broke away from the church (now reunited) are still behind bars.
Government securities have been making arrests since February 11, 2023.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has visited places where suspects are staying in custody and spoke to Addis Ababa, and Federal and Oromia police as part of an investigation into the matter.
Some have been released on bail but there are also those who are still behind bars and denied bail rights. They did not appear in court either.
The rights group expressed concern that the arrest could be an arbitrary one and said that the investigation of suspects needs to be carried out in a way that observes human rights.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government made claims that there were intentions to overthrow the government under the guise of peaceful demonstrations in connection with the development of the church. However, the government was not clear as to what entity was trying to exploit the movement to defend the church from government intervention.
The Ethiopian Church, on Wednesday, said that there are still followers of the church who were arrested and that it is working with government authorities to secure their release.
The church has announced that the problem within the church has been resolved. The three bishops who attempted to form an ethnic Oromo synod returned to the Holy Synod after a mediation effort by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed-led government.
Fana TV, state-owned media, on Thursday released what is called the first part of video footage of the discussion between the two groups whereby the Prime Minister spoke at length on the importance of peace and unity. It is available HERE
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