May 26, 2022

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Ethiopia NISS

Ethiopian court releases Yared Zerihun, former head of spy agency (NISS)

An Ethiopian court has released Yared Zerihun, former deputy head of the country’s spy agency. He served as deputy chief of National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) of Ethiopia.

Federal High Court, Lideta Division 1st Corruption Crimes bench today granted bail to Yared Zerihun and 21 others.

Yared was arrested in November 2018 from a hotel room in Dukem, some 30 km south of Addis Abeba. He was charged with corruption and human rights abuses. He was accused of the murder of OLF Ginbot 7 leaders and of detaining, torturing, and killing OLF members.

Yared Zerihun and other NISS employees were charged with withdrawing money from bank accounts using ID cards of deceased OLF members.

After Yared Zerihun’s arrest, Attorney General Berhanu Tsegaye was heard saying that “the senior leadership of the national security agency” was involved in a grenade attack at a rally attended by the prime minister in June, in which two people were killed.

Judges at the Federal High Court, Lideta Division 1st Corruption Crimes bench today granted a bail 30, 000 birr each for 22 defendants including Yared Zerihun.

Within the past few weeks, the Ethiopian government has released several politicians and journalists. Oromo politicians like Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, and some TPLF leaders like Sebhat Nega, Abay Weldu were released at the start of this month. Kibrom Worku, Maeza Mohamed, Samson Mamu, Eyasped Tesfaye, Ermias Tesfaye, and several other journalists have also been released in recent days.