News: OLF’s Abdi Ragassa re-arrested shortly after release; his whereabouts remain unknown

Abdi Regassa is one of the ex-rebels who returned to Ethiopia in 2018 and subsequently became a member of OLF’s Executive Committee. Picture: Social media

By Siyanne Mekonnen @Siyaanne 

Addis Abeba, June 28, 2021 – Abdi Regassa, a senior member of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) was reportedly taken by security forces after the court ordered his release.  His lawyer Tuli Bayisa told Addis Standard that the Oromia Supreme court acquitted Abdi of terrosim charges on June 24, 2021. Abdi was taken to an undisclosed location after he was arrested, Tuli said. 

The interim head of public relations of the OLF, Lammi Gemechu narrated the sequence of events after Abdi was being escorted home by fellow party members. Abdi was brought to Oromia Supreme court in the capital Addis Abeba from Daleti detention center in Sebeta town. “About 30 people blocked the road and ordered the people in the car to go out.” he said and went on to explain that the car was ransacked by what he described as security forces dressed like civilians. 

According to Lammi, the security forces then took Abdi and Two other members of the party, including a member of OLF’s executive committee to a police station in Alemgena town. While the two were released shortly after, Abdi’s whereabouts are unknown. “We don’t know the reason behind his rearrest,” Lammi said. 

 Abdi Regassa is a former Commander of Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) who then became a member of OLF’s Executive Committee. He was among the senior OLF officials whose house was raided and were arbitrarily arrested at the end of February, 2020. The police denied holding him for days while  Mikael Gobena, Dr. Shugit Geleta, Kenessa Ayana, Muhe Raya, Tesfaye Meko, Selemon Teshome, Gamtessa Boru and Abdulkarim Abdurehaman were released shortly after. Abdi has been presented at different district courts in the Oromia region facing different charges and judges have ordered his release multiple times. AS

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