Home | News    Tuesday 23 August 2016

Ethiopia won’t sanction athlete over Olympic gesture: official

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

August 22, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – An Ethiopian official on Monday said government will not punish its own Athlete for staging protest sign against his home government during Sunday’s Rio Olympic marathon race.

JPEG - 24.6 kb
A group of protestors carry placards in support of Oromia region (Opride.com)

Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms above his head, holding up an X gesture as he crossed the finish line of the men’s marathon as he came second.

At a news conference he gave in Rio, Feyisa told reporters that the protest gesture was to show solidarity with the Oromo protests that have been taking place in the country since last year.

The protest gesture was the same sign made by Oromo protesters who say are subjected to heavy-handed police crackdowns.

“The Ethiopian government is killing the Oromo people and taking their land and resources so the Oromo people are protesting and I support the protest as I am Oromo” he said.

According to Human rights groups, dozens of Oromo protesters were killed by security forces during recent crack down against protesters.

Government officials say the protests are being staged illegally, organized by exiled anti-peace elements and dissidents.

According to police officials protesters were armed in some of the protests and have killed several members of the security force.

“The Ethiopian government is killing my people so I stand with all protests anywhere as Oromo is my tribe. My relatives are in prison and if they talk about democratic rights they are killed. I raised my hands to support with the Oromo protest."

The 26-year-old runner from Oromia, home to Ethiopia’s largest Ethnic group, said his life would be in danger if he returned home.

“If I go back to Ethiopia maybe they will kill me. Otherwise, they will put me in prison. I have not decided yet” he said adding he might consider moving to another country.

Despite the protest gesture, the Ethiopian government said it will warmly welcome Feyisa.

Ethiopia"s information minister, Getachew Reda, however, dismissed the athlete"s concerns.

“Though it is impossible to express a political stance at Olympic Games, the athlete will be welcomed while returning home along with other members of the Ethiopian Olympic squad,” he told state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation.

The state-run Ethiopia Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) has aired Rio’s Marathon race Live on TV on Sunday afternoon. However after the protest gesture, no footage of Feyisa was shown including while he was being awarded his silver medal.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Egypt’s Strategic Water Security: The myth and the truth 2017-03-24 08:19:56 By Ermias Hailu Following to the end of the second world war Egypt’s failure to integrate Eritrea to its territories, due to Emperor Haile Selassie’s superior diplomatic skills, the then Pan- Arab (...)

South Sudan famine is a wake-up call to revive dead peace deal 2017-03-20 15:57:01 By Brian Adeba News that a famine has been declared in South Sudan is yet another stark reminder of the ever evolving nature of war-induced fragility in Africa’s newest country. As the world (...)

Africa’s next level of economic transformation 2017-03-20 05:57:00 By Jim Yong Kim The G20 finance ministers met last week in Germany to discuss critical challenges facing the global economy, from climate change to migration to humanitarian emergencies like the (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Statement by South Sudanese Communist Party on the National Dialoguel 2017-03-22 05:44:42 The Communist Party of South Sudan On the Initiative of the National Dialogue The initiative taken by the President of the Republic of South Sudan declaring a need for a national dialogue is an (...)

An Appeal to President of the Republic of South Sudan 2017-03-15 07:22:45 Dear. Mr. President, I write to appeal to you for the release of political detainees now in the custody of the National Security Service at Jebel and other detention facilities. In doing this, I (...)

Militias of Bashir’s Regime and the Proxy War (1) 2017-02-08 21:49:09 Sudan Democracy First Group Militias of Bashir’s Regime and the Proxy War (1) War in the Blue Nile: Militias in the hunt of refugees and displaced population Introduction Throughout its rule, (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.