Kenyan journalist detained in Ethiopia checked into State-managed isolation centre

Yassin Juma
Kenyan journalist Yassin Juma in Ethiopia.[Photo The Star]

Kenya’s Embassy in Ethiopia has secured the release of journalist Yassin Juma who was on Thursday moved to a State-run quarantine facility after testing positive for coronavirus.

Juma tested positive for COVID-19 more than a week ago while still in detention in Ethiopia.

He was arrested in late June 2020 over what Ethiopia’s Attorney General said was occasioned by a language barrier.

“Kenya Embassy in Ethiopia has managed to assist Collins Juma Osemo alias Yassin Juma, Kenyan journalist arrested in Ethiopia, to move to government manage isolation facility after he tested positive to COVID-19 at Sostegna police station where he was held until yesterday,” a statement from Foreign Affairs Ministry read on Thursday.

His lawyer, Abdulletif Amee said that the office of the Federal Attorney-General faulted the police for holding him wrongfully.

  “According to the Office of the Attorney General, Juma was detained wrongfully because of language barrier,” the lawyer told Nation.

In an open letter on Tuesday, the journalist described his medical condition as “not so good” doubting if he will make it.

He decried that he has not received any help even with his condition and has been grouped with other inmates who are COVID-19 positive.

“I am currently being held at block (W) with 68 other COVID-19 positive inmates with no access to medication in overcrowded cells, no running water and no diet to assist us with our condition,” he indicated.

His release came as Kenya recorded 426 new COVID-19 cases which brings the total caseload since March to 31,441.

This was after a sample of 5,168 was tested in the last 24 hours. From the new cases, 417 were Kenyans while nine were foreigners.

Some 257 patients are among those who were reported to have recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries in the country so far to 17,869.

195 of those discharged were from the home-based programme, while 62 were discharged from various health facilities.

However, 10 more patients succumbed to the virus, raising fatalities to 516.

Three of the deaths were community deaths aged below 30 years.