Ethiopia: Prominent Oromo scholar Alemayehu Diro under police custody for more than ten days, denied right to appear before court

3

Addis Ababa – Oromia regional state security forces have placed distinguished Oromo scholar Alemayehu Diro under custody as of 29 September 2022; he has since been denied of the right to appear before court, his wife Lakech Hailu confirmed to Addis standard.

Alemayehu, 53, an anthropologist, economist, influential business person and a father of six, was taken from his residence in Burayu town in Oromia Special Zone Surrounding Finfinne, near the capital Addis Abeba and detained at the Burayu district police station.  His wife Lakech said that a group of Oromia regional state security forces took him on 29 September.

“A group of people wearing security uniform appeared at our gate at 6:00 AM and asked for the whereabouts of Alemayehu. They broke into our residence without a court order. I asked [them] to know why he was needed, the only reason they gave was that ‘we are hiding people and tools in our home’. I am not sure what they meant by ‘tools’. They checked the house and inside our car, but they couldn’t find anything,” Lakech said.

According to Lakech, Alemayehu has not been told what he was accused of and why he has been kept under arrest ever since. “He has not appeared before court until today. It has been more than 11 days now. I visit him every day to bring him meal,” she added.

Alemayehu is widely recognized as a development practitioner in the civil society sector for nearly 20 years, of which he spent 13 years working for HUNDEE – Oromo Grassroots Development Initiatives as Program Operation Manager; he had also worked for Forum for Oromo Studies, and served as the General Manager for Network of Civil Society Organizations in Oromiya.

He is also the founding committee member of Oromia International Bank S.C., Oromia Insurance Company and Gutu Oromiya Business S.C.

It is to be recalled that on 24 September, another famous Oromo anthropologist and researcher, Gemechu Megersa (PhD), had been briefly detained and released with a notice to report back when needed by the police.

— Addis Standard