Kenyan journalist Yassin Juma, whose real name is Collins Juma Osemo, has been in detention in the Ethiopian land for more than 47 days.
He wrote a letter and sent it to the Nation before Kenya filed a second protest to Ethiopian authorities about his illegal detention.
“Kindly pass my greetings and love to my children, my grandson and all those supporting me through the #freeYassinJuma online campaign. I can’t thank them enough. Remember me in your prayers as I fight coronavirus and injustice,’’ pleaded Juma.
‘It is my 47th day in detention at Aradar detention Cell and the 7th day since I was diagnosed with Covid-19. I am currently being held at block (W) with 68 other Covid-19 positive inmates with no access to medication, no running water and no diet to assist us with our condition. The cells are overly overcrowded, my health is failing with each passing day, and I am not sure if I will make it. It is do or die situation and ‘die’ takes the larger portion owing to the conditions in detention that makes my survival chances less,’ Juma hopelessly exposes the reality.
The Kenyan government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has failed to secure his freedom even after two courts [Lower and High Court] released me last Monday.
He was literally kidnapped by six armed men in civilian clothes, immediately after he was released on bail at Arada Police Station. He received countless beating and forced into a minibus together with three others who had been freed too. They were taken around Addis and later dropped at Arada Police being informed that they had been re-arrested, not by the Federal Police, but by Addis Ababa Police.
“It is a game they play to have us incarcerated for long after the law courts freed us. The investigators trick is to keep on asking the judge for more time. Holding me for 47 days without charging me is very inhumane. Denying me a chance to communicate with my family in the last 47 days is also against my human rights. All I am asking the Ethiopian government is to either charge me or set me free. Up to now they have failed to bring evidence in court to charge me,” Juma said.
He went to Addis Ababa in June 6, 2020 for a series of shoots as the Producer for Sky News, the UK-based media organization. The series was a special report on Ethiopia, but mainly cultural. His company, the Horn 24 Media, was later assigned by the Oromo Development Association and Oromos in North America Association to produce a documentary for government-affiliated TV station OBN.
The documentary was about a project funded by Ethiopians in the Diaspora that introduces e-learning to at least ten secondary schools in the Oromo Region. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received their esteemed delegation before and after completion of the establishment of servers in the ten schools as a pilot project. He was still in the process of interviewing, traveling, and editing; at the time of his arrest.
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