Ethiopia: Imprisoned cardiologist says 20 die as authorities refuse to let him treat his patients

ESAT News (January 8, 2018)

An Ethiopian born Swedish cardiologist who was jailed in Ethiopia in a politically motivated charge told a court in Addis Ababa that 20 of his patients have died because authorities would not allow him to see his patients.

Dr. Fikru Maru

Dr. Fikru Maru had repeatedly said he was willing to treat his patients if authorities would allow him to leave the prison under police supervision for few hours. He was however allowed only once to see a patient.

One of Sweden’s top cardiologist, Fiku Maru established a cardiology hospital in Addis Ababa in 2007 to help his people. But he was arrested in 2010 for what authorities allege was questionable ways of importing medical supplies for the new heart hospital. Charges were dropped a year later but he was arrested and thrown to jail in 2013 in what critics say was politically motivated.

After spending four years and cleared of all previous charges in May 2017, authorities brought new charges against Dr. Fikru Maru accusing him and 37 others of starting a fire at the notorious Qillinto prison in September 2016 in which 23 people have died. Fikru and all prisoners say they are innocent. Reports also show that prison guards shot and killed prisoners who were trying to run away from the fire to save their lives.

Dr. Maru told judges that he was tired the court keeps adjourning his case and not able to act on it as regime prosecutors failed to bring any witnesses against him.

“Failing to provide any witnesses the prosecutor plays video games before the court, but i will go back to my cell and play with bed bugs and mice,” Dr. Fikru maru told the court in Addis Ababa today.