Parliamentarian’s from the Amhara region of Ethiopia who were arrested in connection with the Fano armed movement in the region are reportedly transferred to the capital Addis Ababa this Sunday. Journalists who were also arrested along with them are transferred to Addis Ababa, according to a BBC Amharic report.
Chritisan Tadele (member of federal parliament and chairperson of standing committee for audit), Yohanned Buayalew (former senior official of the ruling party and a member of Amhara regional council) and Kassa Teshager (Addis Ababa City Councillor) were arrested in August 2023 soon after Abiy Ahmed’s government introduced the imposition of state of emergency in the Amhara region. They were arrested under circumstances whereby their parliamentary immunities were not lifted.
Christian Tadele and Teshager Kassa were arrested from Addis Ababa while Yohannes Buayalew was arrested in Bahir Dar brought to Addis Ababa.
Soon after their arrest they were transferred to Awash Arba, in the Afar region, in the arid parts of Ethiopia where they have been staying until this week under harsh prison conditions including sanitary ones.
According to the source, they are not informed why they are transferred to Addis Ababa.
There were reports that they were sick at some point during their stay there. In a statement released in August, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission confirmed that they were arrested in a military training camp in Awash Arba. Yohannes Buayalew was brought to Addis Ababa about two months ago but was taken back after getting medical attention for one week.
BBC Amharic said it got information from anonymous sources that Christian Tadele and Yohannes Buayalew are now arrested at the Federal Police Crime Investigation office in the Mexico area of Addis Ababa. The source also added that the two members of the parliament have lost a significant weight and bear signs of misery to the point that they look different.
The state of emergency imposed in the Amhara region will come to an end next week. Given reports of continued fighting in the Amhara region and government inability to restore normalcy in the region, it appears that the state of emergency did not effect change except that hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed. Human Rights organizations in the country and abroad have confirmed some of the violations including drone attacks on civilians and summary executions.
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