Mo FarahFour-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah made the famous Oromo gesture in protest against the government of Ethiopia as he crossed the finishing line in the 5,000m Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday.
The legendary British athlete who have just returned from Ethiopia to break the European record at the event (pictured), swapped his ‘Mobot’ signature celebration with a show of solidarity for the Oromo people.
In Rio Olympic, hundreds of millions of people watched Ethiopian silver medallist Marathon winner Feyisa Lilesa hold his arms over his head, wrists crossed, in support of members of his Oromo ethnic group against the Ethiopian ruling party.
The Tigre ethnics group (TPLF) of the country’s leaders have been repeatedly accused of human rights abuses and of discrimination against the Oromo, the country’s largest ethnic group, comprising about 35% of the country’s 100m population.
Recently, the #Oromo community in the United Kingdom had written to the British government urging it to halt with immediate effect, its assistance to the government of Ethiopia which they accused of systematic repression that included the torture, killing and harassment of school children in #Oromia, a regional state of Ethiopia.
Since October 2016, the TPLF government declared a state of emergency, giving security forces and the army new sweeping powers.
The government blocked mobile internet, restricted social media, banned protests, closed down broadcast and print media, and imposed draconian restrictions on all political freedoms.
In its recent report analysing the effect of the emergency, Human Rights Watch described the measures as the securitisation of legitimate grievances.