Bekele Gerba, et al, still locked up in a dark room, denied medications

ESAT News (June 28, 2016)

A prominent leader of an Oromo opposition party, Bekele Gerba and his codefendants were still held in dark rooms and they were allowed visitations by family for only less than 15 minutes a week.

The defendants appeared before a court in Addis Ababa today with the court further adjourning their case to decide on whether they would be charged under the country’s infamous anti-terrorism law that the regime uses to stifle dissent.

One of the defendants, Dereje Fita said they were locked in a dark room since June 3, 2016 with the toilet that doubles as a shower in the same room with no doors.

Defense lawyer Amha Mekonnen also told the court that his client Bekele Gerba was denied his medications and prison officials have repeatedly confiscated his notebooks.

The political prisoners were put in jail following the start of protests in the country’s Oromo region six months ago against the tyrannical regime. The protest began as an objection to plans by the government to expand the city limits of the capital Addis Ababa into the surrounding communities who are predominantly Oromo farmers.