Amnesty: Ethiopian police must account for missing opposition leader

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Human rights group Amnesty International has called upon authorities in Ethiopia to reveal the whereabouts of Oromo opposition leader Abdi Regassa.

Regassa has been missing since Saturday when security officers broke into his home and arrested him along with eight other members of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The other eight members were released the same day but Regassa is yet to be seen while his lawyer claims to the police say he is no longer holding him.

Amnesty calls for answers over Regassa disappearance

“The police must account for the whereabouts of Abdi Regassa,” Amnesty said in a statement on its website, “who remains missing after security officers in Addis Ababa broke into his home and arrested him alongside eight other party members on 29 February.”

Amnesty says Regassa is “at risk of torture and other ill-treatment” at the hands of security officials and warned he may have already been subjected to enforced disappearance.

Ethiopian prime minister Abi Ahmed has received widespread praise for his sweeping reforms that have opened up political freedoms in Ethiopia but accounts of targeted, arbitrary arrests are emerging in greater numbers.

“The Ethiopian authorities must stop arbitrarily arresting and detaining opposition figures. They must immediately disclose Abdi Regassa’s whereabouts, charge him with a recognisable crime under the law or release him without further delay,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Featured image: Amnesty International

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.