Yassin Juma Contradicts Ministry's Statement on His Release

  • Yassin Juma in a government isolation facility in Ethiopia
    Yassin Juma in a government isolation facility in Ethiopia
    Yasin Juma
  • Journalist Yassin Juma on Saturday, August 29, contradicted earlier reports by the Foreign Affairs Ministry that he had opted to stay in Ethiopia after his release.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, the journalist disclosed that he was out of the government Covid-19 isolation centre after testing negative, but he had been prevented from travelling back to the country. 

    "Kindly treat as misleading, pedestrian talk, wreckless rumours and sensational reports that I chose to remain in Ethiopia with friends'. I could not stay here after all that I went through. Furthermore, it compromises my security," he stated.

    He revealed that Ethiopia's Ministry Of Health had imposed new travel regulations that required him to spend 14 days in house isolation before being issued with a Covid-19 status certificate.

    Journalist Yassin Juma in Ethiopia
    Journalist Yassin Juma in Ethiopia

    "I was ready with my luggage set to fly back home immediately after l left the health facility only to be informed about this regulation," Juma explained.

    The journalist added that the Kenyan Embassy was aware of the developments upon his discharge from the health centre.

    "I am however looking for alternative means to have a certificate issued by the African Union (AU) the earliest possible so that I can be able to fly back home and reunite with my children, my grandson, friends and supporters," he added.

    Juma added that he was being hosted by a local and was still concerned about his security. He disclosed that he was taking time to rest and trying to recover fully after being ill for 17 days and 49 days in detention.

    The journalist was arrested as he covered protests that followed the assassination of Ethiopian artist and activist Hachalu Hundessa and charged with inciting violence. 

    Ethiopia's Attorney General on Tuesday, August 18 ordered the release of the Kenyan journalist.

    According to Juma's lawyer Abduletiff Amee, the AG acknowledged that Juma was wrongfully arrested and blamed the misunderstanding on the language barrier.

    He was, however, taken to a government isolation centre when he tested positive for Covid-19.

    "My health is failing with each passing day, and I am not sure if I will make it. It is 50-50 with Coronavirus but the conditions in detention make my survival chances less," Juma wrote in a letter from jail.

    File image of journalist Yassin Juma
    File image of journalist Yassin Juma
    Daily Nation