Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio

Article written by Palmeto Biz Buzz

The Men’s marathon athletics event in Rio saw the Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa crossing his arms above his head.

This was a symbol of a protest against his home government. Crossing his arms was a gesture made by Oromo people, who have suffered brutally by police. Human rights groups have said that security forces have killed many in recent anti government protests.

Lilesa who is from Oromia, which is part of 35 million Ethiopian people.

The runner celebrated as he crossed the finish line in second place. At a press conference Lilesa said: “The Ethiopian government are killing the Oromo people and taking their land and resources so the Oromo peopfindcomment aug 16le are protesting and I support the protest as I am Oromo” he went on to say “If not kill me, they will put me in prison,” he said. “I have not decided yet, but maybe I will move to another country.”

He was questioned if he was worried that his actions would cause being sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to this he said “I cannot do anything about that. This was my feeling. I have a big problem in my country, it is very dangerous to make protest in my country.”

This question was addressed to him because under rule 50 of the Olympic charter the committee bans political displays or protests. The committee said that they were gathering information on this particular case.