Ethiopia: News - Fed. Court Orders Fed. Police to Bring Absentee Defendants On Jawar Mohamed's File to the Next Hearing

Addis Abeba — The Federal High Court Lideta Branch, First Constitutional and Anti-Terrorism Bench at the hearing last week ordered the four defendants in Jawar Mohammed's file Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, Hamza Adane and Dejene Tafa to appear in court. While the rest of the defendants on the file were arraigned at court, the four defendants sent yet another letter through the defense team explaining to the court that they will no longer attend the hearing.

The hearing that was set to decide on the conduct of witness hearing against the defendants was scheduled to take place in May. Since then, they told the court that they will no longer appear in court to follow their hearing in protest to the summary execution of detainees, maltreatment of prisoners in detention and extrajudicial killings in different parts of the country.

At today's hearing the four defendants presented their reason by saying "The repeated rearrest and abduction of political prisoners who are freed by the court made us lose hope in the justice system." They also reminded the court of many detainees who have been under police custody without trial for over a year. After thanking the judges for holding their one year long trial, the defendants said, "We have no guarantee for not being rearrested and abducted like the other political prisoners. We do not want to attend the hearing until Justice is administered."

After ordering the federal police to bring the four defendants to the next hearing, the court adjourned the hearing to July 28, 2021 to resume its sessions. AS

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