Ethiopian Editor Sent to Jail for publishing a controversial opinion piece; Unable to Settle Bail Requirement
The journalist has been in custody since November 11, in connection with an article he had published seven months ago that criticized an Aanolee monument recently erected in Arsi, Hetosa, in honor of ethnic Oromos massacred in the 19th century by Emperor Menelik’s imperial expansions. The monument had ignited divisions between Oromo activists and supporters of emperor Menilik’s legacy.
According to Awramba Times’ confidential sources, federal prosecutor is attempting to link the magazine’s publication to the deadly clashes between Oromo student protesters and security forces in Jimma University last April.
Elias appeared before the Federal High Court in Addis Ababa last Tuesday and was ordered to post bail of 20,000 Ethiopian birr (US$1000) or face detention until his trial, which is now scheduled for January 05, 2015. Unable to settle the bail requirement, Elias was arrested days later and jailed in squalid conditions at the Killinto penitentiary in the outskirts of the capital Addis Ababa.