Yassin Juma freed, taken to Covid-19 isolation centre
Kenyan journalist Yassin Juma who was released from an Ethiopian jail after two months has been transferred to government isolation after he tested positive for Covid-19.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said it had managed to assist Juma who had contracted the disease at Sostegna Police Station where he was being held.
“Kenya Embassy in Ethiopia has managed to assist Collins Juma Osemo alias Yassin Juma, Kenyan journalist arrested in Ethiopia, to move to government manage isolation facility after he tested positive to COVID-19 at Sostegna police station where he was held until yesterday,” a tweet from the Embassy read.
Kenya Embassy in Ethiopia has managed to assist Collins Juma Osemo alias Yassin Juma, Kenyan journalist arrested in Ethiopia, to move to government manage isolation facility after he tested positive to COVID-19 at Sostegna police station where he was held until yesterday. pic.twitter.com/IaeK4YNuwn
— ForeignAffairsKenya (@ForeignOfficeKE) August 20, 2020
The journalist was finally released on Tuesday after weeks of protests by the Kenya government and the media fraternity.
As of Tuesday, Juma had been detained for 50 days despite courts in Ethiopia releasing him on bail. No charges had been pressed during that time.
Ethiopia Attorney General while releasing Juma said that the journalist was wrongfully arrested due to language barrier.
“According to the Office of the Attorney General, Juma was detained wrongfully because of language barrier,” his lawyer, Abdulletif Amee.
Mr Amee, however, questioned the reason the State gave for Mr Juma’s wrongful detention.
“Is it convincing enough to say he was detained because of misunderstanding? Is that a tactic to escape from liability?” Abdulletif posed.
Juma was arrested on July 3 in the house of prominent Ethiopian media mogul Jawar Mohammed.
Juma, other journalists and several politicians were accused of crimes related to subverting authority.
They are also accused of fomenting violence in the wake of the assassination of popular Ethiopian musician and activist Hachalu Hundessa.
His detention has raised an uproar among Kenyan activists as well as global rights bodies including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
They had all demanded his, and other journalists’ release.