An inquiry team sent by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) confirmed that Dawud Ibssa, Chairman of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), had been under house arrest since April 2, 2021. NEBE asked the Federal Police and National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) for his immediate release, claiming that his arrest was illegal.
Following the complaint it received regarding Dawud’s detention, NEBE’s inquiry team went to Dawud Ibssa’s house on Feb 28, to be met by security officers in plainclothes.
“Asked from where and who they are, members of the inquiry team were told that no one is allowed to enter the house and that they needed a permit to do so,” said NEBE in its statement.
“As they were finally allowed to enter, their bags were checked and weren't allowed to carry their cell phones with them. The inquiry team could finally meet with Dawud and learned that he hadn’t been allowed to leave his house since April 2, 2021, by security forces stationed in the compound. The board realized that Dawud Ibsa is deprived of his mobility rights and is under house arrest.”
Remarking the house arrest the party leader found in is unacceptable under any legal circumstances, NEBE asked the Federal Police and National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) to remove the security posted in Dawud’s compound respecting his mobility rights and immediately report to the board.
Amnesty International issued a report on June 15, 2021, stating that Dawud Ibsa had been placed under house arrest in his home in Addis Ababa since 3 May 2021.
“This was done after the police conducted an illegal search of his home and seized electronic equipment. The police have not allowed anyone to leave or enter the compound of Dawud Ibsa’s residence since they placed him on house arrest and there is now serious concern over Dawud Ibsa’s wellbeing as he may have run out or is close to running out of food and other essential items,” reads Amnesty’s report
The board also said that political parties voice their grievances in a discussion forum they held with NEBE on December 02 and 09, 2021, that their leaders and members are being arrested following the state of emergency,