Oromo: Dr Geleta’s Daughter Calls for Urgent Support of the German Government
Oromo: Dr Geleta’s Daughter Calls for Urgent Support of the German Governmen
(unpo)–In a letter addressed to the German government, Bonsitu Shigut, the daughter of Dr Shigut Geleta – Chair of the OLF and UNPO Presidency Member – has asked for urgent international support to end the arbitrary arrest of her father. Dr Geleta has been jailed by Ethiopian security forces without a court order or warrant by Ethiopian federal security force on 3 July 2020 in Addis Ababa. Since then, his family has not been able to determine his whereabouts and has no information about his well-being. This was his second imprisonment in which the arresting officers did not have a warrant. Bonsitu highlights that her father has been working hard to foster a strong cooperation with a multitude of other oppressed ethnic groups in Ethiopia while also actively engaging with many notable human rights organisations. “Since his return to Ethiopia, my father has dedicated his efforts exclusively to peaceful and democratically motivated causes. Despite all of this, he was arrested without a court order or warrant”. Bonsitu’s letter recalls that Dr Geleta requires daily medication, without which his health condition in prison could deteriorate quickly.
Below is a letter signed by Ms Bonsitu Shigut
Dear Sir or Madam,
My name is Bonsitu Shigut. I was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and moved to Germany with my family when I was seven months old. I am a German citizen; I have completed my secondary school and university education in Germany, and currently I am working and reside in Munich, Bavaria. I am writing you this letter to act your part for the release of my father, Dr. Shigut Geleta, member of the OLF, who was arrested unlawfully by the Ethiopian security forces on 03.07.20.
After assassination of the prominent Oromo singer Hacaaluu Hundessa on 29.06.20, massive protests broke out throughout the country. The Ethiopian security forces were unable to contain the people’s anger despite the widespread unlawful imprisonment of innocent individuals and mass killings.
My father had been jailed previously, in February 2020 he was arrested without a court order or warrant by Ethiopian federal security forces. This episode is his second round of imprisonments (Friday, 03.07.20 during the evening hours he was taken away from his home by the security forces), the process of imprisonments happened as previous one without court order or warrant. Despite intensive actions of searching to determine whereabouts (embassy, security forces, his organizations…). I Myself and other family members have been unable to determine the place of his detention.
Due to his medical condition (daily medication use) me as his daughter and other family members are devastated by all the process. Our daily question was did he get his medication daily? How is it his physical condition? How is it his emotional status? ….My father has been an active member of the Oromo Liberation Front for a long time, and has been in charge of all diplomatic matters for the organizations internally and externally. In September 2018, when the Oromo Liberation Front returned back to Ethiopia it was primarily to focus on the federal elections through democratic process and peaceful manner, originally planned for late 2020.
It has always been the OLF’s conviction that democratic elections will only be realized in a healthy political environment that allows peaceful collaboration with other political parties and the incumbent administration. Therefore, the organization has always made it clear that it does not condone any form of violence and has distanced itself from those to believe otherwise. With its return, the OLF intentionally sought out a peaceful path into Ethiopian democracy. As a result, my father Dr. Shigut Geleta has worked hard to foster a strong cooperation with a multitude of other oppressed ethnic groups in Ethiopia while also actively engaging with many notable human rights organisations.
His objective has been to establish the foundations that will eventually lead the Oromo people into a free and democratic future. Since his return to Ethiopia, my father has dedicated his efforts exclusively to peaceful and democratically motivated causes. Despite all of this, he was arrested without a court order or warrant. I am worrying for the safety of my father due to the blatant aggression and cruelty security forces have exhibited towards innocent civilians, and the rapidly rising death toll in the country. Ethiopia’s terrible record of human rights violations and the torture of detainees and prisoners is widely known.
We, the family of Dr. Geleta, have been unable to obtain any information about where he has been detained and what condition he is in. His daily medication need is also another independent factor of humanity. For us, Dr. Shigut Geleta is not merely an innocent member of the OLF, but a beloved husband and father first. We fear that the dictatorial administration of Dr. Abiy Ahmed poses an immediate threat to his life and us, the family, call on you to stand with us and to demand the immediate release of my father Dr. Shigut Geleta, a German citizen.