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News: Tigray opposition party pleads for release of chairman detained for over fifteen months

Dori Asgedom, chairman of Assimba Democratic Party. Picture: Social Media

By Medihane Ekubamichael @Medihane

Addis Abeba – Assimba Democratic Party (ADP), an opposition party based in Tigray state, pleaded for the release of its chairman, Dori Asgedom, who is in police custody in the capital Addis Abeba for more than 15 months.

The party said its chairman Dori is currently in Kality Prison in the outskirts of the capital, “for exposing the atrocities committed in Tigray” after the war started, and called on all concerned to work for Dori’s release. The party did not say whether Dori is indicted on any allegations as of yet.

In the letter addressed “to whom it may concern,” ADP said that it was the first opposition party to issue a statement exposing the “atrocities committed against the people Tigray when the federal government waged war through what it described as a law enforcement operation against the TPLF since November 4, 2020.” It added that “the ensuing war resulted in the massacre of the people of Tigray, the destruction of private and public property, and the brutal massacre of the Eritrean army caused by invading into Tigray region.”

According to the party, subsequent to this, its Chairman, Dori Asgedom, has been detained by federal police and kept in Kality Prison since 13 January 2021. The party has therefor called on “all concerned parties” to do their best to ensure that its chairperson, like other political party leaders, saw the light of justice and released.


Assimba chairperson Dori, Assimba logo and Assimba election sign

Assimba Democratic Party was one of the five opposition parties in Tigay registered to participate in the election for the regional state council which was held on 9 September 2020. The federal government labeled the election as “unconstitutional” and in “violation” of the country’s electoral law. The regional state’s electoral commission,however, proclaimed the election for the local council as “successful”. Assimba received 774 votes of the more than 2.6 million people registered to cast their votes for the regional council, becoming fifth.

Assimba is a party that represents the minority Irob community that live in the mountainous area of northeastern Tigray bordering Eritrea. ADP is a proponent of need for peace with neighboring countries, regions, and the federal government.

ADP was established in 2019 in Tigray State. At the early months of the party’s establishment its chairman Dori asserted that the party strongly opposes the Algiers Agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea after the 1998 – 2000 war.

After the civil war erupted in November 2020, reports emerged exposing that the minority Irob people have been under total control of Eritrean forces who crossed into Ethiopia, and are facing existential threats to their lives and livelihood.

Reports also show that Irob community who are living across various parts of Ethiopia are keeping low profiles, especially after the arrest of Dori Asgedom. AS

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