Addis Ababa. Judges at the Federal First Instance Court Arada Branch ordered the release of 19 individuals many of whom journalists, editors and technical support staff from Oromia News Network (ONN), who were detained after the police raided Kaku Mame Oromo Traditional Cuisine Restaurant, located in Lideta Sub City, Awash Insurance Bank Building, 5th floor.

A total of 29 people who were taking part in a New Year special program production for ONN were detained by the police on September 05. Of the 29, the 22 individuals were brought to the Federal First Instance Court Arada Branch while the seven were released soon after. The police accused them preparing to incite violence in collaboration with the armed group Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), a group the government is currently involved in military engagements in western and southern Oromia regional state.

One of the editors at ONN who is detained is Sinboo Dajanee , daughter of Dajanee Tafa of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), who is recently indicted with criminal charges.

According to the list of the accused provided to Addis Standard by Tuli Bayissa, one of the lawyers, the accused are:

A. ONN Journalists: 1. Dassuu Duulaa 2. Bahiluu Naccoo 3. Soraa Jirmaa 4. Sabboontuu Ahimmad

B. ONN Camera crew:  1. Geetaachoo Alamaayyoo 2. Habtaamuu Abarraa

C.  ONN Editors: 1. Baayisaa Turaa 2. Biniyaam Yoonaas 3. Sinboo Dajanee (Dejene Tafa’s daughter).

D. Invited Artists: 1. Caalchis Abarraa 2. Waadaa Diroo 3. Gaarumaa Hundee wabiin baheera

E. Kaku Mame Restaurant customers: 1. Ashanafii Miindaa 2. Tarrafaa Gizaw 3. Daani’eel Abarraa 4. Yaasiin Faariis 5. Indaalee Bagaashaw 6. Qanaasaa Galataa 7. Bushaa Wadaajoo 8. Gammachuu Wadaajoo (7 and 8 are brothers) and 9. Tasfaa Damee

In today’s hearing, the court ruled 19 of the 22 to be released bail ranging from the highest 30, 000 birr granted to journalist Dassuu Duulaa, to the lowest 4, 000 birr. However, only 10 of the 19 appeared in court because nine of them were admitted to hospitals after contracting COVID-19, Tuli said.

Three of the 22 were already released on bail for health conditions. AS

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