A Federal High Court has postponed hearings for Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, and co-defendants due to complaints related to supporters allegedly prohibited from attending court proceedings.
The Federal High Court, Lideta Branch was scheduled this morning to hear the defendants’ plea on the nature of charges against them. Accordingly, the defendants were arraigned in court, but the court rescheduled the hearing following a complaint filed by defendants and their lawyers alleging that police banned supporters wearing yellow clothes to attend the proceedings.
Among the defendants, Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, and Hamza Adane filed their complaint to the court saying that their supporters were banned from coming into the courtroom simply because they were wearing yellow uniforms. They said some of them were arrested for wearing yellow clothes.
There has been a call on social media to wear yellow in solidarity with prisoners to represent the yellow jumpsuit worn by defendants in prison and in court.
In today’s court hearing, Jawar Mohammed said that his family members and others were barred from entering court because of the color of their clothes, and he could not make his plea statement in such a condition.
Bekele Gerba and Hamza Adane said they were saddened by the fact that people were denied access to the courtroom and demanded the release of those arrested for wearing yellow.
Defendants’ attorneys also asked the court to reschedule the hearing, arguing that it was inappropriate for supporters to be barred from attending the courtroom because of the color of their clothes. Prosecutors argued that rescheduling would delay the trial.
After hearing the argument, the court rescheduled the hearing for February 4, 2021.