A federal high court on Thursday granted police additional 14 days to investigate Jawar Mohammed, an activist turned politician associated with opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC).
Jawar was arrested, along with others, two weeks ago in connection with the unrest that took place in Addis Ababa and parts of Oromia region in the wake of the killing of artist Hachalu Hundessa.
The court adjourned the hearing to July 30, 2020. Privately-owned Addis Standard reported that Jawar informed that court he is being held at a basement in unmarked building. The prosecution also got 10 more days to investigate politician Bekele Gerba who was also arrested during the unrest.
Along with Gerba were his daughter Bontu, his son Samuel and his nephew Kiyya Belachew, who were detained at a school compound. During the pretrial hearing, judges ordered the release of all three whom the police initially accused of collaborating with Bekele.
Activist turned politician Eskinder Nega who was also detained on charges of inciting violence told the court that he had been physically abused by police officers. The court ordered a probe into the incident.
During the July 16 pretrial hearing, Eskinder stated that he will press charges against members of the police who were involved in his beating.
“We have to be aware of the forces that encircle us to take advantage of conflicts they instigate amongst us. We have to renew our political discourse and institutions. Doing so, we can realize our prosperity” the premier’s statement said.
“We have well identified those who instigated the chaos and disrupted their networks,” he added. He called for more support from the public to help combat the forces of chaos and violence.
The statement also noted that aside the loss of lives – put at over 260 – properties running into millions of birr were destroyed. With the partial return of connectivity, social media has been flooded with videos and photos of mass destruction across parts of the capital and Oromia region.