Teenage Ethiopian Christian boy summarily shot dead by authorities

14 June 2021

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A 17-year-old Ethiopian Christian has been shot dead without trial in broad daylight in Dembi Dollo, Oromia region.

Oromia regional special forces, assisted by local police, claimed that Amanuel Wondimu belonged to the banned Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), recently identified by the government as a terrorist group. His family strenuously deny such association.

Amanuel Wondimu

Amanuel Wondimu was shot dead without trial at a roundabout in Dembi Dollo, Oromia region on 11 May [Image credit: TZTA International Ethiopian Newspaper]

On 11 May they arrested, beat and paraded Amanuel, forcing him to shout, “I am a member of Abba Torbe (part of the OLA). Don’t do what I did. Learn from me.”

The town’s administration posted a video on social media in which security forces taunt the bloodied teenager with a handgun tied around his neck.

He was shot twice in the head at a roundabout in the town. Witnesses said local police and armed forces ordered vehicles to stop and compelled local residents and business owners to watch the killing. They were warned that anyone attacking the security forces would suffer a similar fate.

After Amanuel’s killing, security forces harassed his family and mourners present at his home. One mourner said about 35 people had their mobile phones and ID confiscated before being released from Dembi Dollo police station hours later.

Since the killing, government authorities have further intimidated Dembi Dollo residents, including Amanuel’s family members and friends.

Amanuel’s father asserted that his son had no links with the OLA, he was a devout Christian and served as a deacon in his local church.

Another relative said that Amanuel never had any involvement in politics, adding, “He spends most of his time in the church. The accusations against him are absurd.”

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