Seife Nebelbal Radio, Interview Olbana Lelisa, former prisoner of conscience
Olbana Lelisa was born in West Shewa, Goro Sole. Olbana, who worked as an agricultural specialist for the local government, was pushed out of his job after running on the opposition Oromo People’s Congress (OPC) ticket in the disputed 2005 election. Olbana was elected to Caffee Oromia, the regional parliament where he served as MP until 2010. A passionate advocate of justice, he was known for his frequent trip to central prisons to speak with prisoners. He often granted interviews to international media such as the Voice of America. After the ruling party won the 2010 election, Olbana worked at OPC’s Finfinne-branch as political strategist and community organizer. Olbana, along with Bekele Gerba was arrested on August 27, 2011, a day after meeting with representatives of Amnesty International. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison on December 11, 2012. Olbana was released a year ago right after PM Abiy assumed office.