VOA reported on November 1, 2012 that Oromo prisoners of conscience, Bekele Gerba, Olbana Lelisa, et al. were convinced in Ethiopia’s kangaroo court because of their political views.
In his statement in the court, Obbo Bekele Gerba said that he was honored to struggle for the Oromo people.
Here are the VOA reports (Afan Oromo and Amharic):
Their Arrests After Meeting with an Amnesty International Delegation
On August 27, 2011, Oromo political leaders, Obbo Bekele Gerba and Obbo Olbana Lelisa, were thrown into prison by the TPLF regime, which has militarily occupied Oromiyaa since 1991. They were put in prison after meeting with an Amnesty International delegation, which was also expelled from the Empire afterwards.
Two of the estimated 20,000 Oromo nationalist political prisoners in the Ethiopian empire, Obbo Bekele Gerba was the deputy Chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM), and Obbo Olbana Lelisa a leader in the Oromo People’s Congress party (OPC) at the time of their arrests.
Please read here about Amnesty International’s report about the two prisoners of consciousness. The Amnesty International delegation was in the country to collect information for its report, which was later published in Dec. 2011: “Dismantling Dissent – Intensified Crackdown in Ethiopia“