Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Families of three Ethiopian politicians jailed in connection with violence in the north-western Amhara region say they are concerned for the detainees’ well-being.

It comes after handwritten letters on social media appeared to indicate the politicians – Christian Tadele, Yohannes Buayalew and Kassa Teshager – were on hunger strike.

Mr Christian is a member of Ethiopia’s lower house of parliament while Mr Yohannes and Mr Kassa are members of Amhara regional and Addis Ababa city councils respectively.

They were arrested – despite having parliamentary immunity – after the authorities declared a state of emergency in order to contain a deadly conflict in Amhara between government forces and local militias.

The politicians had been critical of the government’s approach to growing resistance in Amhara before their arrest.

They are being held in a military camp more than 200km (124 miles) east of the capital.

Family members told the BBC’s Amharic service that they were not allowed to visit the detainees and that they did not know the conditions in which they were being held.

Fighting broke out in August after months of tension and continues to date.

But with internet shutdown in the region and phone lines cut off in areas witnessing intense clashes, it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of the extent of the violence.

By Joy

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