Opposition member faces ‘terrorism’ charges

Ethiomedia

MEKELLE, Northern Ethiopia – Police and security forces on November 5 jailed opposition figure Shishai Azanaw, a source told Ethiomedia by phone on Sunday.

Sileshi Azanaw
Sileshi Azanaw

A current member of Andenet opposition party, Shishai was previously a founding and Central Committee member of the Mekelle-based Arena opposition party.

Shishai has appeared in a Mekelle court, and was charged with ‘terrorism,’ the usual excuse that the ruling party uses to eliminate young and influential individuals from the political turf and ahead of elections, Asgede Gebreselassie, a noted opponent of the regime said by phone from Mekelle.

An engineer working for the national Petroleum Enterprise, Shishai was closing in on a Masters degree program as a software engineer before he was picked up by security forces, who also searched his house and confiscated his property.

The fearless Shishai endured months of threats and harassment by none other than the undercover agents of TPLF, a political organization whose key men were the closest confidantes of the late Meles Zenawi, an ultra Eritrean nationalist mercenary who died in 2012.

Shishai is the second most prominent figure arrested following Abraha Desta, a Mekelle University political science instructor widely known as a government critic via his FaceBook page. Abraha was charged with ‘terrorism’, a term that doesn’t give any meaning to the Ethiopian people but the despotic elements in power.

The ruling party, in power since 1991, cracks down on dissenting voices in the run-up to elections, and the defendants are slapped with long-term prison sentences under the country’s notorious “Anti-Terrorism Law.” (Read more story below)

 

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