Jawar Mohammed’s Statement at Court-Hearing on September 4, 2020


“Here, our worry is not merely personal concern, rather we worry about the justice system of this country. Hence, I am not speaking of the judge only. With us the second person from the Attorney of the country. My speech also addresses them. The justice system of this country is in the hands of the party in power. They failed politics. I want them to understand this reality. Hearing the testimony of the witness behind the curtain is not because we are criminals, but it is due to the political problems of the country. This is a key indicator of that (political failure). Even today, they removed a witness and 4 from our last hearing and this is another attest for our political crisis. When I speak of these problems, it is not out of anxiety as I am in prison. Our struggle is not only trying to correct the justice system for our cases, but for generations to come. I joined politics to bear all sacrifices it requires. Even imprisonment is a simple one. As I believed in the vision, demand, and struggle of my people, I am ready to accept any cost it demands including life sacrifice. I won’t regret it if I die now. I die while smiling. However, we are struggling to salvage and improve the justice system of this country. I remember what happened to the leaders and founding fathers of the Oromo struggle for freedom 40 years ago in the Imperial Court of this country. In particular, I remember what happened to Lt. MAMO MEZEMIR, who graduated from Military Training of the Emperor with great distinction. Even today, the same is happening to their grandchildren. This is a shame. Bringing political differences to the court affects/spoils both politics and the justice system. There is no worth in it. To the extreme, this would lead to political polarization and disintegration. It also erodes the trust the public has on the justice system (the court). I remember when the current prime minister confessed that in the last 27 years, his government has been terrorizing our people by breaching constitutional provisions and laws that simply demanded basic rights and freedoms. Nevertheless, what is happening today is a replica or extension of what has been happening in the last 27 years. I think dealing with this issue through the court system is not feasible. Let alone the Court, I would say don’t waste judges’ and lawyers’ time and energy. If you wish, keep us in jail as long as you want to or release us when it is ok for you, if you wish, you can hang us, but I want to say do not spoil the Rule Law and the justice system.” “Thanks!”

Jawar Mohammed
Human rights advocate.

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