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Four individuals, including Oromo Federalist Congress party ( OFC) leader Desta Dinqa, who were arrested and detained for the last six months in association with the public protest in Oromia Region are now charged for terrorism. They have been detained at Maekelawi investigation center for six months without any charges.
Desta Dinqa, Lema Bay Gutema, Wayu Beka and Abdela Batri are the four individuals against whom the Federal Prosecutor has opened a charge file. The Prosecutor filed the charges in two categories; while the first charge is against only the 1st defendant Desta Dinqa, the second charge is filed against the remaining 2nd -4th defendants.
The charges against the 1st defendant Desta Dinqa accuse the defendant for offences as per articles 4 and 3 of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) 652/2001. The defendant is charged for
“working together with OFC leaders, Gurmesa Ayano, Bekele Gerba, Dejene Tafa, Adissu Bulala who are currently under custody on another trial, by accepting a mission from Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and by using political party membership as a cover for gathering party members from Oromia Region to come to Addis Ababa and giving them a mission of instigating violence and unrest.”
The charge document also states that the defendant has given a mission for youths from areas of Gindeberet, Jeldu and the surrounding areas in North Shoa Zone of Oromia Region to organize under the cover of Idir (a form of traditional community association) and to instigate violence and unrest. The charge also accuses of the first defendant for, together with Gurmesa Ayana, gathering youths at the OFC office during September 2015 and calling for violence to topple the government and said “use anything you get, a stick, matchet, stone, and free the people”.
In general, the charges against Desta Dinqa accuse the defendant for taking part by giving leadership for the eruption of violence and causing heavy damage on infrastructures in cities in North and West Shoa. And hence, charged for crimes of planning, conspiring, and inciting the execution of acts of terrorism.
The second charge is filed against the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants, i.e. Lema Gutema, Wayu Beka and Abdela Batri. The charge accuses the defendants of offence as per article 7(1) of the Anti-Terrorism proclamation for involvement in an act of terrorism in any way.
On June 14/2016 the defendants appeared at the 19th bench of the Lideta Federal Higher court and their charges were heared.
The full detailes of the charges in Amharic can be found on this link
*Defendants were detained at Maekelawi investigation center for six months.