Last month we reported on the disappearance of Meqcha Mengistu, Chairperson of the Ethiopian Teachers’ Association (ETA) East Gojam Zonal Executive and member of the ETA Committee for the implementation of the EI/ETA EFAIDS Programme. Mr. Mengistu has now been located and is awaiting trial.
Mr. Mengistu was recently located in the Addis Ababa Criminal Investigation Bureau (Maekelawi) where two other ETA officials are also being detained since their arrest on December 15. The first instance court has now adjourned his hearing until February 9 and the police are keeping him in custody on the grounds of ongoing investigation. EI notes with some concern that Meqcha has sustained injuries to his ear and now has hearing difficulties. It is still not known why he was not brought before the court together with other ETA activists before this date. As highlighted in EI’s Urgent Action Appeal, some 500 people have been arrested in Ethiopia and are ‘suspected of committing various crimes and inciting violence against constitutionally established government systems’. A number of ETA officials are among this group.