A member of the European Parliament, Ana Gomes, has reacted to the the move by the Ethiopian government to drop charges against leading Oromo politician, Merera Gudina.
According to Gomes, who frequently comments on political ongoings in Ethiopia, Gudina “should never have been jailed.”
The university don who is leader of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) has been under detention for a little over a year. He was arrested in December 2016 after returning from an European trip during which time he addressed the E.U. parliament on the political situation back home.
MEP (@AnaGomesMEP) January 15, 2018
Upon his arrest, the government said he was picked in connection with having flouted an October 2016 state of emergency imposed to quell spreading anti-government protests predominantly in the Oromia and Amhara regions.
He was eventually charged with terrorism but the offense was later downgraded to multiple criminal charges. The case like that of other political elements has been traveling at a slow pace with prosecutors seeking extensions and introducing fresh evidence.
The MEP also commented on Eskinder Nega, an Ethiopian journalist currently in jail. Eskinder Nega is a brave man, paying for freedom and justice for his country. He is still a political prisoner in Ethiopia. He must be liberated! She said in a tweet.
Nega and a Venezuelan writer and journalist Milagros Socorro have recently been honored by Oxam Novib (PEN Awards 2018). “Eskinder couldn’t receive the award because he is in jail for his journalism works,” blogger Befeqadu Hailu wrote.