Journalist Yassin Juma is now free to return home after testing negative to Covid-19 which he had contracted while in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa police cells.
The Kenyan embassy in Addis Ababa said Juma was discharged from isolation on Wednesday and allowed to travel back home, but he has opted to stay there.
“Juma is now free to return to Kenya after his arrest and subsequent release from police custody and from WOREDA 7 Health Centre where he was in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 while in police custody,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Nairobi said in a statement.
Yassin Juma, whose real name is Collins Juma Osemo, was arrested in early July shortly after the killing of Hachalu Hundessa, a popular singer from the Oromo ethnic group, kicked off days of violence that left more than 200 people dead.
His arrest caused an outcry, with Kenya sending letters of protest to Addis Ababa, after he remained in detention for two weeks after he was ordered released on bail.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Juma was detained for allegedly failing to identify himself as a journalist during a police raid on the home of prominent opposition figure Jawar Mohammed, who was also detained.
Juma has said he was in Ethiopia working on a documentary and as a producer for Britain’s Sky News.
On August 12 Kenya’s foreign ministry sent a letter to Addis Ababa urging his release, describing his detention as “highly regrettable”.
Juma was one of at least two detainees who have tested positive for COVID-19 while in custody, Human Rights Watch said in a statement Saturday.
More than 9,000 people have been rounded up in connection with the violence that followed Hachalu’s death, including a host of high-profile opposition politicians and journalists.
Hundessa who was perceived as an activist for the Oromo ethnic group was shot dead by unknown assailants while driving in the capital Adis Ababa, sparking violent protests that left several people dead.