By Siyanne Mekonnen @Siyaanne
Addis Abeba, May 20, 2021- The brother of Jimma University graduate Mohammed Deksiso, Sultan Deksiso told Addis Standard that Mohammed was brought to Addis Abeba after weeks of being detained without his family knowing his whereabouts. Sultan said “ We don’t know his where he is taken.”
Mohammed was arrested after calling out ‘Free Jawar Mohammed, Justice for Hachalu Hundessa’ at a graduation ceremony of Jimma University in February. He was arrested alongside Mulugeta Shitee and University staffer Wondimu Legesse Abba Dafar (PhD). After facing accusations of ‘inciting violence and being affiliated with an armed group, the three were granted bail by the end of February. The court closed the file for lack of sufficient evidence and ordered their release. The police in Jimma city, Oromia regional state, defied court order and transferred them to a different police station to which the court’s order for bail wasn’t addressed to.
The court hearing went well into March where they faced new accusations for alleged involvement in a grenade attack which took place in October 2020 in Jimma city. Wondimu Legesse Abba Dafar (PhD) was released in March and Mulugeta was released a couple of weeks later on April 1, 2021.
On that day, Mohammed was taken by what were described as men dressed in civilian clothes after the paperwork was processed and he was making his way towards his friends who were waiting for him outside. “He was taken by a car carrying plate numbers of Oromia Special forces who drove him first to Jimma university premises then later to the Federal police camp in the city.” Mohammed’s brother Sultan Deksiso told Addis Standard at the time.
Sultan told Addis Standard that his family haven’t seen him since April 1, 2021. Sultan recalled hearing that his brother was held in Oromia Special Forces camp in Jimma. “They never even admitted to us that he is under their custody.” he said. “I learned that Ormia special police brought him to Finfinee. I tried getting a hold of him but I was told that he was taken to Gelan.” Sultan continued, “I couldn’t find him there.”
The EHRC denounced the physical abuse Mohammed suffered at the hands of security forces and repeatedly called for his release. Imad A. Tune, EHRC monitoring and investigation hub director in Oromia, told Addis Standard that the commission knew of Mohammed’s situation when he was in Jimma but it can’t say anything officially on the information that he was said to have been transferred to Addis Abeba. AS
Editor’s note: The last paragraph of this news was edited to incorporate clarifications from Imad A. Tune as well as his title.