One of the most prominent civil rights advocates in Ethiopia and candidate for the Addis Ababa City Council, Eskinder Nega, survives an assassination attempt in prison three days ago after he was transferred to another part of the prison on the orders of Ethiopia’s Attorney General Gedion Timotios late last week.
It is reported that one of the prisoners in the new location tried to strangle Eskinder to death before other prisoners intervened and saved his life.
The Attorney General’s office has not given a reason for moving Eskinder to a different location that is filled with violent individuals. Critics of Abiy Ahmed’s regime are accusing the Prime Minister of plotting to assassinate Eskinder.
Balderas Party revealed today that Eskinder and his colleague Sintayehu Chekol have been transferred to Kilinto, a maximum-security prison in Addis Ababa, earlier this morning.
Eskinder is the leader of Balderas Party and a candidate for Addis Ababa City Council. He has been imprisoned since last July on trumped-up charges of inciting violence. No one testified on the record against him yet.
Before forming Balderas Party, Eskinder was internationally known for peacefully advocating civil rights and press freedom. He has been jailed more than 9 times by the previous regime. PEN America honored Eskinder with the Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award in 2021. In 2017, the International Press Institute named Eskinder IPI’s 69th World Press Freedom Hero.