Sep 20, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Despite release orders, OLF PR head, his driver remain in police custody; Party says it notified Electoral Board, Rights Commission

– Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) head of public relations, Batte Urgessa, and his driver, Wondosen Abdulkadir, remain in police custody after the court has released them on bail. They appeared in Burayu District Court six days after their arrest on March 20, 2021. Batte and Wondosen were arrested on March 20, 2021 while visiting party colleagues detained in a police custody in Burayu.

Batte and Wondosen appeared for the second time in court on April 1, 2021. The police informed the court that the investigation into the allegations had sparked unrest in the premises of the detention center have been completed. Her attorney Tokuma Dhaba told Addis Standard, “The police asked the court to give extra days to investigate an alleged link between the two defendants and unspecified” enemies “.” The defense team called for transparency and disclosure of the enemy’s name and for the release of his clients while the police continued their investigation.

The court granted each defendant ETB 5,000 bail and ordered their release. “We paid the requested bail but were told the investigator wasn’t there.” Tokuma explained how her clients remain in custody after the court ordered their release. Their families, who went to the police station on the morning of April 2, 2021, were told that they could not be released. According to Tokuma, the families have been told that the Batte and Wondosen are facing other charges in order to keep them in custody.

The party’s interim PR director told Addis Standard that the party had informed both the Ethiopian National Electoral Body of Ethiopia (NEBE) and the Ethiopian Commission on Human Rights (EHRC) the illegal arrest of Batte Wondesen by letter dated March 22, 2021.