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VOA Amharic - Dessalegn Chanie has been arrested




Disclaimer: This is an English translation of an Amharic report taken from VOA Amharic and is intended solely for information purposes.


VOA Amharic - Dessalegn Chanie has been arrested


February 1, 2024 (Tir 23, 2016 EC)

Kennedy Abate


Yesterday night, January 31, 2023 (Tir 22, 2016 EC), house of peoples’ representatives member and representative of the National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) party Dr. Dessalegn Chanie was taken away by police according to a family member who spoke to Voice of America.


Two people wearing federal police uniforms and two wearing civilian attire took him away from his residence saying he was “wanted by law” according to a family member of Dr. Dessalegn who spoke to us in condition of anonymity saying “I am concerned for my safety”.


This morning police and security personnel came with Dr. Dessalegn in their custody, searched his residence and left with electronic devices, documents and Ato Dessalegn himself according to the relative.


Dr. Dessalegn is being detained in the Federal Police Criminal Investigations Bureau. Dr. Dessalegn Chanie’s attorney Ato Solomon Gezahegne cited lawyers are permitted to visit clients on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and said he would travel to where his client is being held to visit him tomorrow, Friday.


Prior to this, Ato Solomon recalled that he was prohibited from visiting other clients arrested in connection with the state of emergency and said if Dr. Dessalegn was arrested for reasons not associated with the state of emergency, he was hopeful there was a chance he could meet him.


Yesterday, Wednesday night, house of peoples' representative and NaMA member Dr. Dessalegn Chanie was arrested from his residence according to a relative.


When this matter was posed to federal police they responded, “information related to persons arrested under the state of emergency may only be obtained from the command post.”


Dr. Dessalegn Chanie was a founding member of NaMA and its former president and is the second house of peoples' representative and NaMA member to be arrested under the state of emergency.


Another NaMA official and representative Ato Christian Tadele was arrested on August 4, 2023 (Hamle 28, 2015 EC) in connection with the initial state of emergency which was supposed to end now and the tied campaign of force “to be implemented within the region and as needed across all of Ethiopia” as a result of the security crisis in Amhara Region 


Currently detained representatives include Amhara Region Council member Ato Yohannes Buayalew, Addis Ababa city Council member Dr. Kassa Teshager and former Minister of Peace and Oromia Region “Chefae” member Ato Taye Dendea.


Up until now neither police or government officials have provided any comment on the arrest of Dr. Dessalegn Chanie.


When asked for comment on the matter Federal Police Commission Public Relations Chief Ato Jaylen Abdi said, “information on persons arrested in connection with the state of emergency may only be obtained from the command post.”


Dr. Dessalegn Chanie has been known for criticizing the ruling party both within and outside parliament including last Sene 29 (July 6, 2023) when he called for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to “resign from his position and dissolve the parliament.”


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