Ethiopia files terrorism charges against leading opposition activist

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A high-profile Ethiopian activist, Jawar Mohammed is photographed during an interview, in Addis Ababa.
A high-profile Ethiopian activist, Jawar Mohammed is photographed during an interview, in Addis Ababa.
Michael Tewelde, AFP
  • Ethiopia has filed terrorism charges against a prominent media mogul and opposition politician from the Oromo ethnic group, Jawar Mohammed.
  • Jawar was arrested in June amid the widespread unrest that followed the assassination of popular Oromo musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa.
  • Jawar and 23 other activists face charges relating to the violation of anti-terrorism laws, telecom fraud laws and firearms laws.


Ethiopia has filed terrorism charges against a prominent media mogul and opposition politician from the Oromo ethnic group, Jawar Mohammed, the attorney general's office said on Saturday.

Jawar, founder of the Oromiya Media Network and a member of the Oromo Federalist Congress party, was arrested in June amid the widespread unrest that followed the assassination of popular Oromo musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa.

Jawar and 23 other activists, including Oromo opposition leader Bekele Garba, face charges relating to the violation of anti-terrorism laws, telecom fraud laws and firearms laws, the attorney general's office said in a statement on social media.

Those charged include journalists and scholars. Bekele is a senior leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress.

They will appear in court on Monday to answer to the charges, the attorney general's office said in the statement.

Jawar, a former ally of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, was instrumental in the Oromo protests that brought Abiy to power in 2018. But he became a critic of Abiy, accusing the prime minister of failing to protect Oromo interests.

Tuuli Baayyis, Jawar's lawyer, told Reuters that they had learnt about the charges from social media as formal charge papers had not been provided to them yet. He did not comment on the charges.

At least nine people have died in the Oromiya region around Addis Ababa following clashes between Ethiopian security forces and protesters demanding the release of the detained Oromo opposition politicians.

The unrest in Oromiya highlights the challenges facing Abiy ahead of elections which were due this August, but were postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
14% - 391 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
24% - 681 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
63% - 1807 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.18
(-0.12)
ZAR/GBP
20.42
(-0.10)
ZAR/EUR
18.47
(-0.35)
ZAR/AUD
11.26
(+0.12)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.04)
Gold
1838.70
(-0.06)
Silver
24.14
(+0.54)
Platinum
1053.00
(+2.99)
Brent Crude
48.78
(+0.95)
Palladium
2335.00
(+1.15)
All Share
59360.11
(+0.70)
Top 40
54496.87
(+0.60)
Financial 15
11592.19
(+1.69)
Industrial 25
79962.06
(+0.35)
Resource 10
56919.91
(+0.53)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo