March 21, 2019

ODF Applauds Bekele Gerba’s Grant of Bail

We learned with a great pleasure that prominent Ethiopian opposition leader Bekele Gerba has been granted bail on appeal and about to be released from Ethiopian prison. We applaud the move by the Ethiopian Supreme Court. Mr. Gerba should not have been imprisoned and charged in the first place. We hope the court acquits him on all the bogus and politically-motivated charges still pending against him. As we congratulate Bekele Gerba, his family and all human rights activists on this victory, we demand the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, including Dr. Merera Gudina, who is also unjustly detained under trumped up charges.

Bekele Gerba, First Secretary General of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), is a champion of non-violent struggle. We commend his commitment to this means of struggle and his steely determination to seek the freedom, equality and justice of the Oromo and for all people of Ethiopia with courage and dignity.

Bekele Gerba committed no crime. Nevertheless, the tyrannical TPLF/EPRDF Government jailed and charged Bekele Gerba with serious crimes that he did not commit. He was wrongly detained and languished in the notorious prison since December 2015. It is to be remembered that wrong accusations and trumped-up charges are not new to Bekele Gerba. He was similarly and wrongful accused, sentenced to 8 years imprisonment and served almost four years and was released in April 2015.

At this historical juncture where Ethiopia is once again at the crossroads, we would like to remind the TPLF/EPRD Government that it is not too late to abandon its policy and practice of state violence against those seeking an end to tyranny, release all political prisoners, repeal its repressive laws and submit to calls for an all-inclusive national reconciliation and peace conference that will pave the way to a peaceful transition to a democratic order.

Freedom and Justice for All!
Oromo Democratic Front (ODF)

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