Two high profile American senators have sent a letter to the U.S. State Department calling for the immediate release of Ethiopian opposition figure Jawar Mohammed, as crackdown widens under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali.
Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith urged the U.S. State Department to “take all appropriate actions” to ensure that Mr Jawar and fellow activist Misha Chiri “are treated humanely”.
They also called on the department to assist the pair to “exercise their full rights”.
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Mr Jawar, who was previously exiled in the US where he established a media business in Minnesota, was detained last month by Ethiopian authorities after being linked to the murder of a policeman during violent protests following the killing of music star Hachalu Handessa in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Mr Jawar’s allies deny his involvement in the murder.
“The recent political unrest and responsive actions taken by the Ethiopian government have threatened the progress that has been made,” the senators said in their letter.