Oromo: Chairman Dawud Ibsa under House Arrest
Members of the OLF in the Diaspora have denounced the house arrest of the organisation's Chairman, Mr Dawud Ibsa. Local sources have reported that Mr Ibsa's property is under siege by Ethiopian security forces, while his telephone line has been completely disconnected. Moreover, government security vehicles have been seen driving in and out of the compound of OLF headquarter in the Gullalle sub district of Addis Ababa. In the aftermath of the assassination of Oromo's beloved artist Hacaaluu Hundessaa, members of Ethiopia’s armed forces deployed throughout Oromia have crackdown on anyone accused of being a member or supporter of the OLF. Currently, senior leaders of the organisation are detained without due process, including UNPO Presidency Member Dr Shigut Geleta.
Amidst rising tensions in Oromia, members of the OLF have denounced the violent crackdown on the Oromo people. OLF headquarter offices in Gullalle are being searched without warrant and the imprisonment of members occupying these offices has continued unabated. The organisation also reports that Oromo intellectuals and business owners are being imprisoned for their alleged support to the OLF. The same is happening with some members of the government’s police force and the army suspected of supporting or sympathizing with the OLF.
The UNPO once again reminds the Ethiopian government of its basic international obligations regarding the right to liberty and to a fair trial, as fully enumerated in the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights Luanda Guidelines on Conditions of Arrest, Policy Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in Africa. These standards mandate notification of the reasons for arrest or detention, early access to a lawyer and to communication with outside parties. At a minimum, the Ethiopian government must swiftly comply with these standards and account for the whereabouts of the detained political party leaders.