By Mahlet Fasil @MahletFasil
Addis Ababa, January 26, 2022 – Kibrom Worku, the editor and head of the news department of Ahadu Radio and TV was today released from prison after 70 days of detention. His lawyer Tigabu Desalgn told Addis Standard he was relased on the guarantee of a national ID card.
Kibrom was first arrested by Addis Abeba police on October 22, 2021, as a result of Ahadu radio reporting that forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have taken over Hayik, a small town in the South wollo zone of the Amhara region.
On January 12, 2022, the federal high court Lidenta branch ordered the Arada first instance court to reopen the case file of Kibrom Worku who police refused to release released despite court orders to release him on November 12. The federal high court ruled that the decision by the first instance court to reject the Habeas corpus appeal made by Kibrom’s defense team.
Earlier in November, the Arada first instance court first granted a 15,000 ETB to Kibrom bail but the Addis Abeba police commission appealed to the Arada High court on November 15, 2021, to remand and investigate. The court then ordered the Addis Abeba police commission to finalize its investigation and bring the case files the next day. Addis Abeba police compiled its investigation and presented it to the court and upon presenting the case files, Arada High court upheld the decision by the first instance court and ordered the release of Kibrom on 15,000 ETB. bail.
According to Kibrom’s lawyer, the first instance court rejected the Habeas Corpus appeal by saying that the defendant was already granted bail, prompting the defense team to file an appeal at the federal high court. At the hearing on January 12, the federal high court said the first instance court’s decision was unlawful. It then referred the case back to the Arada First Instance Court to see the file again.”
Kibrom was arrested alongside Luwam Atikilti, a journalist at Ahadu Radio and TV who was accused of having affiliations with the TPLF after reporting the aforementioned news about the taking over of Hayik by forces loyal to TPLF. Kibrom Worku, the editor and head of the news department was arrested on the same date eventhough the radio station shortly issued a correction on the news after clarifying with the town’s mayor and residents. AS