An Ethiopian court has ordered release of Kenyan journalist Yassin Juma from police custody.
In a ruling delivered on Wednesday, the court also granted Ethiopia’s OMN journalist Melese Diribsa and three co-detainees bail.
According to the defense team, the court ordered their release after police failed to present evidence to prove they committed a crime.
The Ministry of Foreign affairs is said to have been working behind the scenes to secure the freedom of Juma whose health deteriorated while in custody.
The former NTV journalist was arrested early July by the Ethiopian military while covering protests that erupted in Ethiopia’s Oromia region following the death of musician Hachalu Hundessa.
The musician who was perceived as an activist for the Oromo ethnic group was shot dead while driving in Adis Ababa leading to the unrest that had claimed over 70 lives by the time Juma was arrested.
Reports indicate that Juma was arrested because of his close relationship with the controversial musician, one of few people who have openly criticised Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.
Juma is also said to enjoy a cordial relationship with Oromo activist Jawar Mohammed, who owns a media house where the journalist works.
Juma is facing charges including incitement and involvement in violence.