Kenyan journalist Yassin Juma finally set free by Ethiopian government

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A photo of journalist Yassin Juma shared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after his release from custody in Ethiopia. PHOTO/COURTESY

By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Kenyan journalist Yassin Juma who has been in police custody in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa has been released.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it has moved Kenyan journalist to a government-managed isolation facility in the Ethiopian capital.

This comes days after the Ethiopian Attorney General ordered his release from custody.

“Kenya Embassy in Ethiopia has managed to assist Collins Juma Osemo alias Yassin Juma, Kenyan journalist arrested in Ethiopia, to move to government manage isolation facility after he tested positive to Covid-19 at Sostegna police station where he was held until yesterday,” the ministry said in a statement

It also comes days after Mr Juma penned an emotional letter protesting his illegal detention in the neighbouring country. Veteran journalist Onyango Obbo had also in his Weekly column in the Daily Nation demanded for the release of Yassin.

Yassin who was an employee of Oromia Media Network (OMN) a company owned by Ethiopia’s opposition leader, Mr Jawar Mohammed, was arrested when Jawar and his guards intercepted the transportation of remains belonging to Hachalu Hundessa, a popular Ethiopian singer who was murdered, while on its way for burial in his home town of Ambo, that lies 100 km west of Addis Ababa in early July.

Jawar wanted to have the funeral in Addis Ababa while Hachalu’s parents and wife wanted to have the burial in Ambo, 35 people, including Jawar, were apprehended along with eight Kalashnikovs, five pistols and nine radio transmitters.

Ethiopian opposition leader, Mr Jawar Mohammed, who Yassin Juma was working for. PHOTO/FACEBOOK

Amnesty International said the deadly crackdown on protestors left at least 177 dead and hundreds wounded, according to Ethiopia’s Federal Police Commission. Property was also damaged in many parts of the country including Shashemene, Agarfa, Arusi Negele, Dera, and Ziway.

Jawar who is also chair of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), was arrested on 30 June alongside his deputy Bekele Gerba. They were arraigned in court a second time yesterday and remanded in police custody for two more weeks as investigations continue. Bekele Gerba was arrested together with his son, daughter and a nephew, who the court ordered to be released.

Jawar is one of the founders of the Oromia Media Network (OMN) and a leading organizer of the 2016 Ethiopian protests that demanded for social and political reforms including an end to human rights abuses and political marginalization of opposition groups.

 

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