By Biruk Alemu @birukalemu21
Addis Abeba – The Federal Police in Addis Abeba detained, for the second time, Meskerem Abera, founder and owner of “Ethio Niqat“, a YouTube based media where she frequently appears, on 14 December. The police brought Meskerem to a federal court yesterday and was granted 14 days to remand and investigate her on allegations of multiple offenses, her lawyer Solomon Gezahegn told Addis Standard.
According to defense lawyer Solomon, the federal police is seeking to indict Meskerem on charges of multiple offenses that include using social media and her own media “Ethio Niqat”, to undermine the government, divide nations against one another, cause mistrust in the National Defense Forces, use the controversial issue of Oromia’s anthem and flag in Addis Abeba schools to incite violence and instigating conflicts in the Gurage Zone.
She was brought to Federal high Court, Lideta division, where the police was granted the 14 days “to gather human witnesses to assist” in the filing of the charges, the lawyer added. He objected the decision of the court as unnecessary because the police had searched Meskerem’s residence and took documents.
Meskerem, who also doubles as university lecturer in Hawassa, was detained in Addis Abeba, around the area commonly known as “Haya Hulet” by security forces wearing civilian clothes and federal police uniforms; she was with her husband at the time of her detention.
On 21 May this year, Meskerem was detained by security forces at Addis Abeba Bole International Airport after touching down from a flight that took off in Bahir Dar. But, after several appearances, judges at the Federal First Instance Court, Arada Division appointment hearing bench granted her a bail for 30, 000 birr, resulting in her release from police custody. Before the court released her on bail, the police sought to charge her on criminal offenses including “inciting riots and creating mistrust between the Amhara region and the Federal government.” AS
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