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Prisoners from Tigray Protest their Detention

Lawyers representing jailed Ethiopian opposition politicians say they are concerned for the lives of their clients, whose hunger strike has gone on for nearly a month and drawn international attention as they protest their treatment by the government. The jailed politicians include media mogul-turned-politician Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, Hamza Adane, and Dejene Tafa. They were arrested along with at least 16 others following the killing of a renowned singer, Hachalu Hundessa, in June 2020. Amid outrage over the killing, violence targeting ethnic minorities claimed the lives of several dozen people, mainly in the Oromia region. Some ethnic Oromos feel their quest for more democratic space and the freedom to choose their leaders has not been fulfilled since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018. The jailed politicians face charges including conspiring to dismantle the constitution by force and other “terrorism”-related offences. They have rejected the charges as politically motivated.