has assisted some of its affiliates. The Government of Ethiopia has classified the Front as a
terrorist organization. Two of his brothers were active in the organization and lost their
lives due to their membership. The complainant does not have details of the circumstances
of their deaths owing to his young age at the time. 1
The complainant used to work as a driver delivering goods on behalf of Kemeo
Shibo, the regional director of communications of Dembi Dolo, who was suspected of
being an official of the Oromo Liberation Front and of being in contact with the general,
Legesse Wegi. The complainant was aware of Mr. Shibo’s affiliation with the Front, of
which he himself was a supporter. The complainant believes that intelligence services put a
trace on the phone of Mr. Shibo, which is how the complainant came to be arrested four
times by the authorities between 2008 and 2011.
The complainant was arrested for the first time on 13 October 2008. He was beaten,
slapped, blinded with a torch, kept handcuffed and forced to lie down, and the authorities
attempted to force him to make a false confession of his affiliation with the Oromo
Liberation Front and to give information about Mr. Shibo. He was released after 25 days
upon payment of bail by his uncle, but he was requested to remain at the disposal of the
authorities and not to leave Dembi Dolo. Subsequently, Mr. Shibo was also arrested and has
not been released, according to the complainant’s accounts. The complainant was treated
similarly during his second arrest on 19 December 2009 by a commander of the army. He
was detained for four days and questioned about his relations to Mr. Shibo. The Ethiopian
security authorities tried to force him to make a false confession by torturing him in the
same way as they had done the first time he was arrested. He was released after bail of
5,000 birr had been paid by his uncle. On 17 June 2010, he was arrested for the third time,
questioned, tortured and threatened with death if he did not provide information on Mr.
Shibo. He was released after a day of denying allegations. On 28 March 2011, the
complainant was arrested for the fourth time, at his house. His detention lasted for five days
and followed the same pattern, although he was also told that there was a witness against
him. His uncle paid the bail for his release again and the complainant signed an agreement
not to leave the area.
On 2 April 2011, the complainant learned that two individuals he had delivered
goods to on behalf of Mr. Shibo had also been arbitrarily arrested. He became afraid that
one of them might make a false confession against him and he decided to flee the country
for the Sudan on 3 April 2011.
Once in Switzerland, although he had only been a sympathizer of the Oromo
Liberation Front in Ethiopia, he strengthened his connection to the organization and became
an active participant in the demonstrations held in support of the Oromo people.2
The Federal Administrative Court in Switzerland indicated that although it found his
arrest credible, it did not consider the alleged threat of violence and aggression, and the
psychological pressure that would result from the obligation to remain in Dembi Dolo,
strong enough to justify granting refugee status to the complainant. The authorities did not
find that his claim of future harm was well founded and they did not think that his
appearance at events in Switzerland would make him known to the Ethiopian authorities.
The complainant affirms that his complaint has not been, and is not being, examined
under another procedure of international investigation or settlement.
The complainant claims that Switzerland would violate its obligations under article 3
of the Convention if it forcibly removed him to Ethiopia, since he would again face a risk to
The State party’s submission indicates that one of the complainant’s brothers, who died in 2003, was
in a cadre of the Oromo Liberation Front (Federal Administrative Court decision of 13 July 2016,
letter B, annex 2).
The complainant supplies proof of his membership of the Oromo Liberation Front (letters of June
2014 and August 2016) and participation in demonstrations held in support of the Oromo community
of Switzerland, as he started to appear on the front line of opposition demonstrations with high-profile
activists who are well known to Ethiopian authorities.