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News: Four high-ranking officials of opposition OLF including CC member Kennasa Ayana critically ill inside prison, denied treatment

Ailing high ranking OLF officials Kennasa Ayana, Dawit Abdeta, Geda Gebissa and Geda Oljirra (PhD), Photo: Social Media

Addis Abeba –  Kennasa Ayana, member of the central committee of the opposition Oromo Liberation  Front (OLF) and three other senior officials of the party have been critically ill and denied urgent treatment, spokesperson of OLF Lemmi Gemechu told Addis Standard

Kennasa Ayansa, Dawit Abdeta, Gadaa Oljirra (PhD) and Gadaa Gebissa who are currently detained at Burayu police station have all developed chronic diseases according to Lemmi.

“Kennasa Ayana and Dawit Abdeta suffered severe backbone injury, Gadaa Oljirra developed complications related to previous surgery while Gadaa Gebissa contracted Hepatitis B,” Lemmi said, adding that, the party’s CC member Kennasa Ayana, “has got his back injured severely, and he is unable to walk or stand”.

Lawyer of Kennasa Ayana, Tuli Bayisa, also told Addis Standard that the police disallowed Kennasa from getting admitted to a hospital for an inpatient treatment which his physician prescribed for him. As a result he is not getting the necessary treatment and his health is deteriorating from day to day, he added.

“He[Kennasa] cannot afford to arrange transportation to and from the hospital every day as the detainee is covering all the costs on his own”, Tuli said.

In addition to the ailing four high-ranking officials, three other senior officials of the OLF remain incarcerated in Burayu police station, some of them despite repetitive court orders of their release, others without any prosecutions brought against them at all.

In May last year, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) released a report following an investigation into the detention of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) leaders in various detention centers in Oromia. The report confirmed that many OLF leaders and members are “illegally detained” and subjected to abuse. 

The OLF has repeatedly demanded the release of its leaders who are in prison since 2019, accusing the police of torturing them while in detention. AS

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