News: Family raises concern over ex-state minister’s detention without charge, denial of access to family and lawyers

Taye Dendea blamed the government for failed peace talks between OLA and Ethiopian government (Photo:Forum of Federations/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – The family of Taye Dendea, the recently ousted deputy minister of Peace expressed frustrations over his continued detention without appearing in court, and denial of access to family and prospective lawyers.

Having served in the position for more than two years, Taye was removed from office on 11 December 2023, via a letter from Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. A day later, he was arrested, a development that followed his recent outspoken criticism of the government.

Sintayehu Alemayehu, Taye’s wife, conveyed to Addis Standard that her husband has been detained at the Federal Police Crime Investigation Center in Addis Abeba for days and voiced her concern about not being granted close or conversational access to him, only able to observe him from a distance.

“On the first day, I faced challenges in determining his location. When I returned on the second day with food, access was denied. On the third visit to the prison, I was able to glimpse him from a distance, but communication with him was not allowed,” she explained.

“Even lawyers willing to advocate for Taye were denied entry to see him beyond his immediate family,” Sintayehu added. “Despite numerous lawyers expressing interest in representing him and offering to be contacted, permission was not granted. Legal proceedings have yet to commence.” 

Following Taye’s arrest, his family was removed from their residence. According to Sintayehu, at approximately 9:30 a.m. yesterday morning, they complied with the government’s instruction to vacate the rental government house within a three-day ultimatum..

“At the moment, we have sought refuge in a relative’s residence with minimal belongings and clothing,” stated Sintayehu. “The remaining possessions were left in the house.” 

Taye, a father of two children, was at home with his wife and children when he was arrested, as per his wife’s account. The children inquire about their father’s whereabouts. Their psychological well-being has been significantly impacted, resulting in their withdrawal from school,” she expressed.

Regarding the items reportedly discovered during the house search on Monday night, approximately from 11pm to 04am, Sintayehu explains that the government supplied him with all the equipment, including Kalashnikov rifles and cannons, along with the necessary license plates. “It is inaccurate to claim that he held these items illegally,” expressed his wife.

According to a statement put forward by the Federal Government’s Security and Intelligence Task Force, a thorough investigation prior to Taye’s arrest revealed alleged evidence of Taye’s participation in terrorist activities during his tenure in a high-ranking position within the administration. AS

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