Rights Body asks Govt to Respect Court Bail order & Release Lidetu Ayalew

ADDIS ABABA – Authorities “should promptly release” Lidetu Ayalew and other detainees who have continued to be held in detention despite bail orders by courts, state-run human rights commission said on Thursday.

A high court in the East Shoa Zone of Oromia Region granted Lidetu, a co-founder of the Ethiopian Democratic Party, bail of 100,000 birr on September 22, 2020.

But authorities are yet to implement the decision, said Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

“The continued detentions of Lidetu and others in spite of bail grants reflect disregard for the rule of law and are violations of human rights,” said Daniel Bekele, EHRC’s chief commissioner.

Police arrested Lidetu following a deadly violence which occurred following the assassination of Hacahalu Hundessa in June. He was accused of coordinating and financially supporting the chaos in Bishoftu town where he has a residential home.

His request for bail has been granted by the court on Tuesday for illegal possession of a firearm charge under Firearms Administration and Control Proclamation 1177/2012.

The next trial has been adjourned for September 30, 2020 to see the case of the defendant who is to appear before the court on the date stated.

The veteran politician has been calling for the establishment of a transitional government in Ethiopia, a call authorities see as an attempt to grab power via unconstitutional means.