Ethiopia: Security Forces Briefly Detain Famous Oromo Scholar Gemechu Megersa, Released With Demand to Report Back

Addis Abeba — Security forces in Addis Abeba briefly detained and released a famous Oromo anthropologist and researcher, Gemechu Megersa (PhD), on 23 September before releasing him with a notice to report back to the police when needed, his son Solan Megerssa confirmed to Addis Standard.

Gemechu was detained from his residence at around 6:30 a.m local time. He was released in the evening after spending the day under police custody. Dr. Gemechu went back to the Addis Abeba police this morning and received his mobile phone, which was confiscated by the police after his detention.

Dr Gemechu is a well known Oromo scholar and author on culture, politics and history of the Oromo people. Most recently, he co-authored the book “Sacred Knowledge Traditions of the Oromo of the Horn of Africa” with his wife Dr Aneesa Kassam. He is also well known for his critical views of Ethiopian history and the relationship of the Oromo people with the Ethiopian state.

The police did not provide any explanation for his detention, according to Solan.

This is not the first time academicians have been targeted for detention. In April last year, ten staffers of Jimma University were arrested on the grounds of attempting a coup and supporting the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). Eight of the lecturers were arrested on April 2, 2021, while the remaining two were arrested on April 4th and 5th according to their lawyer. AS

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