Dullah Omar Institute concerned about arrest of Addis Ababa University's Prof Assefa Fiseha

The Dullah Omar Institute is deeply concerned about the arrest of Prof Assefa Fiseha, a staff member and former director of the Centre of Federal and Governance Studies at Addis Ababa University.

The Centre for Federal and Governance Studies is a close partner of DOI, and its South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Prof Nico Steytler. Together with the CvFGS and Prof Assefa, we have co-hosted numerous academic events and conducted joint research projects. The SARChI Chair and the CvFGS jointly convene the annual African School for Decentralisation.

The Institute was shocked to learn that Prof Assefa has been detained in Addis Ababa under the State of Emergency.
Prof Assefa is a scholar of federalism, respected and admired by his peers and students for his thoughtful viewpoints and evidence-based research. He has consistently argued that federalism aims to accommodate diversity through negotiation and agreement in order to prevent, manage and solve conflicts.

He is a true intellectual and thought leader on federalism in the Horn of Africa and can play a very meaningful role in healing the divisions in Ethiopia. He ought not to be harassed or harmed because of his background.

Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights provides that "[e]very individual shall have the right to liberty and to the security of his person. No one may be deprived of his freedom except for reasons and conditions previously laid down by law. In particular, no one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained."

The Institute calls on the relevant authorities to release Prof Assefa back to his family. 

Prof Jaap de Visser 
Director: Dullah Omar Institute
University of the Western Cape

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