Basic human rights consist of the right to life, liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, and freedom of expression. Under international law, everyone is entitled to these rights without discrimination—unless you are Oromo in Ethiopia.
The suffering of Meseret Dhab, wife and mother of two, clearly illustrates how the rights recognized by the Ethiopian government don’t apply to Oromos.
Meseret Dhab is an Addis Ababa University graduate that climbed her way up the media industry ladder, eventually owning her own media production company. She has produced for many well-known media outlets like OMN, ETV, Awash FM and OBN. Working with OMN is where Dhab got to know Jawar Mohamed, the outlet’s founder. She supports OMN because it gives the Oromo people a space to project their voices in an otherwise stifling environment of repression.
On January 27, 2021, there was no doubt Dhab was going to wear yellow and stand in front of the Federal High Court Lideta in solidarity with Jawar Mohamed and the many other political prisoners on hunger strike against their unjust arrest by the current corrupt regime. While it is unsurprising that she would be targeted for advocating for her people, Ethiopia’s arrest of the journalist simply for wearing yellow was a new low for the government. Dhab was eventually released, but the horror didn’t end there.
Early February 10th, 2021, plain-clothed security forces arrived at Dhab’s home in the Haya Hulet area and interrogated her about her connection to OMN. Without any warrant, the forces arrested Dhab and took her to Karamara police station. It was only a few weeks earlier she was subjected to sleeping on a metal bed for practicing her right to freedom of opinion and expression by wearing yellow. Now she suddenly was back at the same prison with no charges once again. Dhab has been detained now for almost two weeks without appearing in court and is now severally ill. She is not receiving adequate medical attention. Without a court hearing in sight and no information on what the government is charging her with, Dhab’s future appears dark—similar to her comrade Jawar Mohammed.
This is the horrific story of Meseret Dhab.
“Humans of Oromia are being brutally beaten, raped, murdered and held in detention centers for just simply being Oromo. Follow us as we take you on a journey through their untold horror stories.”