Dr Merera Gudina was arrested upon his return from a visit to the European Parliament on 9 November 2016, where he joined a panel with other opposition leaders.
The European Parliament expresses concern about arrests of opposition leaders in Zambia and Ethiopia and calls for an end to the war in South Sudan, in three resolutions voted on Thursday (May 18).
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) call for the immediate release on bail and dropping of all charges against Dr Merera Gudina, the Chairman of the Ethiopian Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) opposition party. He was arrested upon his return from a visit to the European Parliament on 9 November 2016, where he joined a panel with other opposition leaders and was thereafter accused of, inter alia, ‘creating pressure against the government’ and ‘threatening society through the means of violence’.
Parliament further reiterates its call for a credible, transparent and independent investigation into the killings of hundreds of protesters in 2015 and into human rights abuses against members of the Oromo community and other ethnic groups perceived to be in opposition to the government.
MEPs urge the Ethiopian government to refrain from “using anti-terrorism legislation to suppress legitimate peaceful protest” and to lift restrictions on free expression and association.