A Federal police vehicle at Bole International Airport in Addis Abeba. Photo: Federal Police
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Addis Abeba – Ethiopian Security and Intelligence taskforce says it has detained activist and journalist Gobeze Sisay, who was listed among a dozen “wanted” individuals who the government says were suspected of committing “terrorism” related offenses.
The government claims Gobeze was collaborating with “extremist forces to dismantle the constitutional order in the Amhara region.”
On Sunday, 30 April, the government said it had detained 47 individuals suspected of being “organized covertly and have committed terrorism-related offenses.”
Among the detainees were journalists who were already detained over the past few weeks. The taskforce claimed some of the detainees were “apprehended with several individual and group weapons, bombs and incendiary explosives as well as satellite communication devices and laptops” containing various information.
Gobeze’s name was listed 11 individuals wanted by the security, including opposition politician Lidetu Ayalew and a group of media personalities from the Youtube based Ethio-360 media, based in the US. The government said it was seeking cooperation from the Interpol and was working with governments of foreign countries where the individuals were said to be based at, and to have them extradited.
In a statement sent to state media tonight, the taskforce said Gobeze was detained after he has “escaped” Ethiopia and “was about to cross to another country after entering Djibouti.”
Gobeze Sisay had previously faced criminal charges on allegations of “spreading false rumor” and disclosing the federal army’s battlefield locations “to the enemy and the public” after appearing on a Twitter Space hosted by an account called “Amhara Perspective.” But he was released by the Federal Supreme Court, which had upheld a previous ruling by the federal high court to release him on bail.
He is now facing new allegations of collaborating with “extremist forces to dismantle the constitutional order in the Amhara region.