The general secretary of the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement, Bekele Jirata, was released on bail from Kaliti Prison in Addis on Feb. 4 and his trial date on charges of supporting a rebel movement has been set for April 10.
Bekele, who was accused by Ethiopian government authorities of "working hand in glove" with members of the rebel Oromo Liberation Front, has denied the charges. He told Namo Dandi of the Afan Oromo service that he had no connection with the rebel organization.
Bekele also described his arrest, prison conditions in Kaliti and how he was treated. He also echoed claims made earlier by former defense minister and fellow inmate Siye Abraha that as much as 90 percent of the prisoners in Kaliti are Oromo and that many of them are young.