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  • Ethiopia's Olympic protester hopes to compete for his country

    Ethiopian Olympic marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa still hopes to compete for his country - despite being exiled since last summer's Games.

    Lilesa has been living in the US on a temporary visa after making an anti-government gesture when he finished in second place in Rio.

    He believes his life would be in danger if he returned to his homeland.

    "I've always wanted to run for my country and for my people," the 26-year-old told BBC World Service.

    "I would like to see myself in a country where the current government is removed and the people get freedom, so I can run for my country - not for a different country."

    Read more at BBC

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  • Ethiopia: Marathoner has nothing to fear after Olympic protest - CNN


    (CNN) Olympic marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa has nothing to fear because of a protest gesture he displayed as he crossed the finish line, Ethiopia's communication minister said Monday.

    Lilesa won a silver medal Sunday with his arms crossed over his head in a sign of solidarity for Oromo-protest in Ethiopia.

    Lilesa said he wanted to draw attention to the government's ongoing persecution of the Oromos, but he feared that his protest had put himself into such danger that he can't go home.

    Ethiopia's Communications Minister Getachew Reda described Lilesa as "an Ethiopian hero," saying he "shouldn't at all be worried" to return.

    Lilesa said he feared he would be killed or imprisoned. Some of his family members are already in prison, he said, and he said he's worried about the safety of his wife and two children.

    In response, Reda told CNN in it's "a bit of a stretch to assume that your loved ones will be at risk because you have made one gesture or another. I can assure you nothing is going to happen to his family nothing is going to happen to him."

    Before Reda's response, Lilesa said he may stay in Brazil or go to Kenya or the United States, depending on whether he can obtain a visa for those moves.

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