Feyisa Lelissa is afraid his government might kill him after Olympic protest

Feyisa Lelissa personified bravery.

ETHIOPIA’S Feyisa Lelisa marked his silver medal in the Olympic Games men’s marathon on Sunday by staging a dramatic protest against his country’s government, claiming his life could be in peril.
Lilesa, who was second to Kenyan favourite Eliud Kipchoge, crossed his arms above his head in an “X” as he finished the gruelling event as a protest against the Ethiopian government’s crackdown on political dissent.
“I have relatives in prison back home,” he said.
“If you talk about democracy they kill you. If I go back to Ethiopia maybe they will kill me, or put me in prison.
“It is very dangerous in my country. Maybe I have to go to another country. I was protesting for people everywhere who have no freedom.”
Human rights groups say that Ethiopian security forces have killed scores of people in recent weeks as authorities crack down on a wave of anti-government unrest in two key regions, central-western Oromia and Amhara in the north.
BBC World TV presenter Piers Edwards called the protest an “extraordinary moment”, while the Washington Post’s Kevin Sieff said on Twitter it was “the bravest act of the 2016 Olympics”. Plenty of others took to social media to praise the Ethiopian.
Follow
Piers Edwards ✔ @piers_e
Extraordinary moment. Feyisa Lilesa: “If not kill me, they will put me in prison. Maybe I will move country” #ETH http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-37150673
8:22 AM – 22 Aug 2016
14 14 Retweets 8 8 likes
Follow
Kevin Sieff ✔ @ksieff
This is the equivalent of the 1968 Black Power salute in Mexico City, but riskier. If he returns to Ethiopia, Lilesa could be jailed.
2:56 AM – 22 Aug 2016
329 329 Retweets 197 197 likes
9h
Mohammed Ademo ✔ @OPride
His name will be mentioned next to historied US athletes Tommie Smith & John Carlos who displayed the Black Power Salute at the 968 Olympics
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Mohammed Ademo ✔ @OPride
#FeyisaLilesa used the biggest stage of his life to express a muzzled generational cry for freedom. He spoke without words. #courage
5:45 AM – 22 Aug 2016
88 88 Retweets 71 71 likes
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
Follow
Zecharias Zelalem @ZekuZelalem
Staunchly defiant to the end. Feyisa Lilesa at the #Rio2016 press conference, explaining his #OromoProtests gesture.
2:39 AM – 22 Aug 2016
41 41 Retweets 39 39 likes
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
Follow
Solome @Solitti
Feyisa Lilesa just made the biggest sacrifice by showing the sign of resistance. Our Hero. #OromoProtests
1:24 AM – 22 Aug 2016 · Takoma Park, MD, United States
177 177 Retweets 159 159 likes
Follow
Selamawit Adugna @selseladu
Someone hug Feyisa Lilesa for me. Who took #OromoProtests #EthiopiaProtests to Rio? #Rio2016 #mensmarathon
12:48 AM – 22 Aug 2016
8 8 Retweets 16 16 likes
14h
Fisseha Tegegn @total_433
A fantastic SILVER medal for Feyisa Lilesa of #Ethiopia. The Ethiopian finishes in second place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. #Rio2016 #ETH
Follow
Fisseha Tegegn @total_433
Feyisa Lilesa has celebrated his silver medal by showing the resistance sign. RESPECT!!! #Rio2016
12:42 AM – 22 Aug 2016
40 40 Retweets 62 62 likes
Lilesa finished the marathon in a time of two hours, nine minutes and 54 seconds, but after the race, had no interest in talking about his sensational performance.
The 26-year-old is Oromo, making him part of the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia. Protests have broken out in recent months over the government’s plan to expand the capital of Addis Ababa and reallocate land in Oromo, which would displace much of the population.

“The Ethiopian government is killing the Oromo people and taking their land and resources so the Oromo people are protesting and I support the protest as I am Oromo,” Lilesa told the press.
“Oromo is my tribe … Oromo people now protest what is right, for peace, for a place.
“In the last nine months, more than 1,000 people died.
“And others charged with treason. It’s a very dangerous situation among Oromo people in Ethiopia.”
According to the Washington Post, Ethiopia’s state broadcaster did not air footage of Lilesa finishing the marathon.

Source: http://www.news.com.au/sport/olympics/feyisa-lilesa-is-afraid-his-government-might-kill-him-after-olympic-protest/news-story/5696534bd8a05ca66ef0ea740ee54100

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About advocacy4oromia

The aim of Advocacy for Oromia-A4O is to advocate for the people’s causes to bring about beneficial outcomes in which the people able to resolve to their issues and concerns to control over their lives. Advocacy for Oromia may provide information and advice in order to assist people to take action to resolve their own concerns. It is engaged in promoting and advancing causes of disadvantaged people to ensure that their voice is heard and responded to. The organisation also committed to assist the integration of people with refugee background in the Australian society through the provision of culturally-sensitive services.

Posted on August 22, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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