worked for the secret service of the dictatorship. After the fall of the regime, in 1991, the
complainant’s mother was imprisoned for having worked for the dictatorship. She was
tortured for many years in prison, where she died.
Holding the ruling regime responsible for his parents’ death, the complainant
became an active opponent of the regime. In 2005, he joined the Kinijit party. His role
within the party was to mobilize young voters, recruit new members and distribute flyers.
The Kinijit party prevailed in elections held in 2005, but the Government refused to accept
the election results. In protest, the complainant threw stones at police officers and set cars
on fire. Thereafter, he was persecuted and went into hiding.
In October 2006, the Ethiopian secret service located the complainant and
imprisoned him, first in Maekelawi prison and then in Zone prison. While in prison, he was
beaten and subjected to ill-treatment. The beatings left scars on his back. He was released
in February 2007 for lack of evidence incriminating him.
In 2009, the Government banned the Kinijit party. The complainant became a
member of the successor underground party, Ginbot 7, which had been founded in May
2008 by Berhanu Nega and Andargachew Tsege, former members of the Kinijit party.
Ginbot 7 established a clandestine network of activists both in Ethiopia and abroad. Within
Ginbot 7, the complainant resumed the role he had occupied in the Kinijit party. He was
taken into police custody several times because of his affiliation with Ginbot 7, but he was
released each time for lack of evidence. When his supervisor was imprisoned in 2013, the
complainant decided to leave Ethiopia, fearing that his supervisor would be tortured and
would reveal information about the complainant. Before leaving Ethiopia, the complainant
told his wife to go into hiding with their two children.
On 26 or 27 May 2013, the complainant left Ethiopia by car, accompanied by a
smuggler. They stayed in the Sudan for one month and then flew to Switzerland. On 28
June 2013, the complainant arrived in Switzerland and applied for asylum. On 8 July and
15 August 2013, he was interviewed by the then Federal Office for Migration, which was
renamed the State Secretariat for Migration in 2015. On 3 November 2015, the State
Secretariat denied the complainant’s asylum application. On 14 January 2016, the Federal
Administrative Court issued an interim decision rejecting the complainant’s application for
legal aid, on the ground that the appeal appeared prima facie to lack merit. On 30 August
2016, the Court denied the complainant’s appeal. No further domestic remedies are
In Switzerland, the complainant has pursued his political activism against the
Government of Ethiopia by participating in several events. On 20 November 2013, he
participated in a demonstration in front of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Bern to protest
against violence faced by Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia. On 7 August 2014 and 20 March
2015, he participated in protests in Geneva against the detention of the Secretary-General of
Ginbot 7. During the latter protest, the complainant tore up a flag of the ruling Tigray
People’s Liberation Front party and marched in the front line of the demonstration, next to
Afework Agedew, one of the leaders of Ginbot 7. On 3 October 2015, he attended the fifth
anniversary celebration of Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio (ESAT), which was
considered by the Government of Ethiopia at the time as a propaganda outlet for dissident
groups. During the celebration, the complainant was photographed with a well-known
dissident priest. On 25 January 2016, the complainant participated in a protest in Geneva
for global solidarity with the Oromos. A video recording of the rally posted on the Internet
shows the complainant marching in the front line and kneeling down as if he were a
prisoner. On 28 February 2016, he participated in a rally for Ginbot 7 and was
photographed with Ephrem Madebo, the leader of Ginbot 7 in the United States of America.
On 5 June 2016, the complainant attended a fundraising event for Ginbot 7 and was
photographed standing at a lectern next to Mr. Nega. On 16 August 2016, the complainant
participated in a public demonstration in Geneva to protest against the crackdown on
opposition in Ethiopia. The complainant also provides regular monetary contributions to the
Ethiopian Relief and Development Organization in Switzerland.