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Mager Media – Thursday, July 21, 2022 (Hamle 15, 2014 EC)

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Mager Media – Thursday, July 21, 2022 (Hamle 14, 2014 EC)

Today’s news updates are as follows:

  • Regarding the quarrel between Journalist Temesgen Dessalegne and the court prosecution;
  • Amnesty International has called for independent investigations into the ethnic-based massacres (genocide) of Amharas in Wollega and
  • Amhara residents in London, UK are staging a hunger strike in protest of the Amharas massacred in Wollega. 

The prosecution in the case of detained journalist Temesgen Dessalegne has called for accountability against military (officers) who threatened to “take action” against Temesgen

The prosecution in the court case of detained journalist Temesgen Dessalegne called for bail granted for Temesgen to be overturned due to the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) threatening to “take action” against him if he was to be released, according to Temesgen’s lawyer, attorney Henok Aklilu who spoke with Mager Media.

The Federal Supreme Court Lideta Branch granted journalist Temesgen Dessalegne bail in the amount of 100,000 ETB on primary anti-terrorism and constitutional crimes on July 4, 2022 (Sene 27, 2014 EC) which the prosecution appealed on July 18, 2022 (Hamle 11, 2014 EC). Among the reasons cited by the appeal was the ENDF’s threat of “taking action” against Temesgen.

Temesgen’s attorney cited the prosecution’s appeal which said, “the court should refrain from issuing bail to journalist Temesgen Dessalegne who has been threatened by the ENDF if he is released on bail and fails to stop publishing.”

Attorney Henok continued explaining there was no written document outlining what the ENDF had said, and explaining to the court how the right to bail should be defended suggests the ENDF is a threatening tool to the justice system and institutions of the country. He also added it was important to review the impact on the status quo, courts and the legal process,

Attorney Henok Aklilu said,

the prosecution’s opposition to the bail based on the ENDF’s threat was brought forth inappropriately and is an indication of how the country’s rulers are taking the wrong path.”

He added that the journalist did not respond given that the law does not allow for a response to be issued in response to another response. Regarding Temesgen’s case, the Federal Supreme Court secondary court of appeal will review the case and provide a decision on the appointed day of July 28, 2022 (Hamle 21, 2014 EC).

The prosecution also provided the following response regarding detained journalist Temesgen Dessalegne’s bail rights:

the defendant had repeatedly disseminated inaccurate information and secrets on media which leaders of the ministry of defense repeatedly warned against on media and which they warned him against including in media appearances. Taking this into consideration, from now onward even if he was granted bail it’s possible he could commit another crime, instead of preventing that from happening, the law is being interpreted wrongfully which does not take into account the law as a foundation.”

Journalist Temesgen Dessalegn is remembered as a veteran journalist who has spent many years advocating for press freedom and being repeatedly arrested. The journalist has been arrested since May 26, 2022 (Ginbot 18, 2014 EC).”

Amnesty has called for independent investigations into the ethnic-based massacres (genocide) of Amharas in Wollega

Amnesty International (AI) has called for independent investigations into the ethnic-based massacre (genocide) of Amharas in West Wollega Zone, Oromia Region.

AI has called for independent investigations into the June 18, 2022 (Sene 11, 2014 EC) ethnic-based massacre (genocide) of Amharas in Tole Kebele (Gimbi Woreda, West Wollega Zone, Oromia Region) which claimed the lives of hundreds, and injured many more.

Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena said:

These horrific killings in Tole, allegedly at the hands of the Oromo Liberation Army, reveal its perpetrators’ utter disregard for human life. This callous massacre, which also saw women and children lose their lives, must be independently and effectively investigated. This is not the first time that ethnic Amhara residents have been attacked in Oromia region. The pervasive culture of impunity in Ethiopia is driving cycles of violence. The Ethiopian government must protect ethnic Amhara in Oromia from unlawful killings and other human rights abuses. The authorities must also leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the perpetrators of these killings are brought to justice in fair trials.”

AI reported that at least 450 people were killed according to accounts from regional administrative officials, and also mentioned testimonies from survivors, injured victims which implicated the Oromo Liberation Front/Army (OLF/A).

Mager Media has spoken with Amhara residents in the area who survived the massacre, who said it happened under direction of the government, by the OLA, the local Qerro structure and members of the Oromo Special Forces and Oromo police. Numerous Amhara organizations and professionals have also expressed this and that the government cannot be trusted to conduct an independent investigation. 

AI’s Crisis Evidence Lab has confirmed evidence of the act utilizing satellite imagery analysis. 

It can be noted that Amhara advocates, political parties and human rights institutions have called for independent investigations into the ethnic-based massacres of Amhara people in Western Wollega.

The United Nations Human Rights Council Director Michelle Bachelet also previously called for independent investigations into the ethnic-based massacres of Amhara people in Wollega.

Amharas in London (UK) are staging a hunger strike

Amharas in London, UK are staging a hunger strike in protest of Amharas massacred in Wollega Zones of Oromia Region on June 18th to July 4th, 2022 (Sene 11th to 27th, 2014 EC) by state-sanctioned OLA and the local Qerro structure.

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