Ethiopia ‘hero’ runner gets asylum donations after Oromo protest sign

The "x" symbol is used by in protests against the Ethiopian government attempts to reallocate land (photo credit: EPA)
The “x” symbol is used by in protests against the Ethiopian government attempts to reallocate land (photo credit: EPA)

A crowd-funding campaign has raised more than $40,000 (£30,000) to help Ethiopia’s Olympic marathon silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa seek asylum.

He crossed his hands above his head as he finished the race – a gesture made by Ethiopia’s Oromo people who have suffered brutal police crackdowns.

He says he may be killed if he goes home but Ethiopia’s government says he will be welcomed as hero.

However, state media is not showing photos of him crossing the line.

There has been a wave of protests in Ethiopia in recent months over a series of frustrations, including attempts by the governments to reallocate land in the Oromo and Amhara regions.

US-based Human Rights Watch says security forces have killed more than 400 Oromo protesters, a figure the government disputes.

Rule 50 of the Olympic charter bans political displays or protests and the IOC say they are gathering information about the case.

Read more at: BBC Africa

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