On November 30, Ethiopian security forces arrested Merera Gudina on the basis of rendering support to terrorism and attempting to “disrupt constitutional order.” He had just returned to Ethiopia after participating in a hearing at the European parliament about the crisis in his home country.
Ethiopia’s Communication Affairs Minister, Negeri Lencho, says his government has been providing Merera with protection as a prominent member of a legal opposition party. Lencho acknowledged that Merera, who he said is being held for violating the terms of the state of emergency, is very well respected in the country.
“He met with terrorist organizations, groups that the Ethiopian parliament designated as terrorists,” Negeri told VOA Amharic, adding that the court will decide whether to jail or release Merera once an investigation is completed.
Merera is the chair of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) and an associate professor of political science at Addis Ababa University.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide is gravely concerned over the detention of Merera Gudina. ESW calls for letters, emails, and faxes respectfully urging authorities in Ethiopia to investigate the situation, to ensure Gudina's well-being while in custody, to lift any charges or convictions related to his peaceful exercise of protected human rights, and to address his case in a manner consistent with internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial, and detention in accordance with Ethiopia’s obligations under international law.