Prominent opposition party leader Bekele Gerba “forcibly” taken to Defence Forces Hospital – Defendant Lawyer

Mereja Media

Prominent opposition party leader Bekele Gerba was taken from Kality Detention Center to Defense Forces Hospital for medical treatment after he face health problems due to extended hunger strike, according to a report by BBC Amharic Service.

The 60-year-old is one of five senior political detainees, including the most prominent, Jawar Mohammed who have been on “hunger strike for the past three weeks.”

Critics say it is unlikely that the political party leaders have been on hunger for three weeks and if so they could have faced complete starvation.

The Federal High Court last Monday decided Bekele Gerba shall get medical treatment in Landmark hospital which is located in Kirkos sub city in Addis Ababa.

One of the defendant lawyers Mohammed Jimma said Bekele was given clearance to be transferred to a private hospital for treatment but he was “forcibly” taken to Defense Forces Hospital. “By Tuesday evening Bekele had been returned to his cell without treatment,” the lawyer claimed.

According to Mohammed, the strike is in protest at the undue imprisonment of Oromo members and supporters of opposition parties, including the Oromo Federalist Congress—the party that Jawar and Bekele are senior members.

Mohammed added that the defendants believe the federal government is systematically excluding Oromia-based opposition parties from the political arena.

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