Dhibba Gaddisa, the father of Biyyansa Dhibba Gaddisa, told VOA that his son’s death was due to a beating he suffered when militia went to his son’s home in Mida-Qanyii district on 7 April.
Biyyansa was an active supporter of the Oromo People’s Congress, which fielded opposition candidates for parliament in the 23 May election.
Police Commander Demelash Gebremichael told media during a televised briefing on Biyyansa’s death that hospital records indicate Biyyansa died of intestinal cancer and pneumonia.
The family alleges he was attacked and beaten in his home in western Shoa. Dhibba said local television reports by Oromiya police twisted his own account of the cause of his son’s death. Local officials deny that Biyannsa was attacked by local militia.
VOA interviewed Dargi Marara, a cousin of Biyyansa, who said he has in his possession the X-rays from Black Lion Hospital, where Biyyansa was first taken, to prove his cousin was severely beaten. After he took the X-rays, Dargi said he escaped arrest by police agents who fired at him. He said he is in hiding and still has the X-rays.
Police Commander Demelash has accused the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement chairman, Bulcha Demeksa, of providing false information to the media when he was interviewed by Reuters. Bulcha says his account of the event is true.