Ethiopian Human Rights Council calls for Release Of Oromo Detainees.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCo) appealed to the government of Ethiopia to release prisoners who have been detained without due process of law.
In its 103th special report issued on Wednesday, the council said that there were several people in detention accused of having connection with the Oromo Liberation.
The council, in its statement listed names of some Oromos in detainees even though tenth of thousands Oromos are in preseason for no reason else being an Oromo. According to the statement, these persons were still in detention even though courts had ordered their release or granted them bail rights.
Among the detainees mentioned in the report is Bilisuma Shugi, an 18-year-old boy and an athlete, who was arrested by the Federal Police while on training in early August. Even though the court dismissed the case, the boy is still in detention.
The Council also listed 17 civilians who are members and supporters of the Oromo Federalist Democratic movement (OFDM) accused of having connection with the OLF. The court dismissed their case on the ground that there was lack of sufficient evidence. The people, however, are yet to be released.
EHRCo also cited OFDM's statement that there were eight other detainees whose bail rights have not been respected.
The council said that although the Ethiopian constitution and international conventions to which the country is a signatory stipulate that no person shall be put under detention without due process of law, there are people who have been detained contrary to what is provided for by the law.
Last week, OFDM chairman Mr. Bulcha Demeksa complained in parliament that a lot of Oromos are being arrested by police although at that parliamentary session Prime Minister Meles Zenawi denied this and said that only OLF people have been detained.
Mr. Bulcha told The Reporter that this is not true, and said that there are OFDM members who were also arrested.
The Council finally made an appeal for a speedy release of the detainees and called on everyone to pressure the government to secure their release.