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Rio Olympics 2016: Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa in `death` protest

"I have relatives in prison back home," he said.

Last Updated: Sunday, August 21, 2016 - 23:09
Rio Olympics 2016: Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa in `death` protest

Ethiopia`s Feyisa Lilesa marked his silver medal in the Olympic Games men`s marathon on Sunday by staging a dramatic protest against his country`s government, claiming his life could be in peril.

Lilesa, who was second to Kenyan favoutite Eliud Kipchoge, crossed his arms above his head as he finished the gruelling event as a protest against the Ethiopian government`s crackdown on political dissent.

"I have relatives in prison back home," he said.

"If you talk about democracy they kill you. If I go back to Ethiopia maybe they will kill me, or put me in prison.

"It is very dangerous in my country. Maybe I have to go to another country. I was protesting for people everywhere who have no freedom."

Human rights groups say that Ethiopian security forces have killed scores of people in recent weeks as authorities crack down on a wave of anti-government unrest in two key regions, central-western Oromia and Amhara in the north.

AFP
First Published: Sunday, August 21, 2016 - 23:07

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